At first it might look familiar, but...
Following information obtained last week detailing Mazda's intention to dramatically overhaul its next-generation 6 sedan by turning it into a rear-wheel-drive BMW fighter got nearly everyone excited, it only took another few days for someone to create a few rendered images of what the finished product could look like. We have them for you now.
Thanks to Kolesu.ru, these are detailed images of what the next-generation Mazda 6 could look like and, overall, we approve. At first, they may appear to be nothing more than what today's car could look like if it received yet another refresh with the brand's updated styling. A closer examination from the rear three-quarter angle, however clearly shows the short rear deck and smaller trunk lid, two clear-cut signs of RWD. The front angle displays a longer hood as well.
And speaking of hoods, underneath it Mazda is developing a new longitudinally-placed inline-six engine that'll supposedly incorporate the new and impressive Skyactiv-X compression ignition technology aided by a 48-volt hybrid system for a total output of around 350 horsepower. Rumor also has it this engine is being developed with assistance, largely financial, from none other than Toyota.
The two Japanese automakers have developed closer ties in recent years, such as the soon to open a joint production facility in Alabama. Toyota is also reportedly interested in utilizing this inline-six for its own future uses, mainly in the next Lexus IS and RC.
Aside from this new engine, sources claim the next 6's design will very much be an evolution of today's car, though 2017's Vision Coupe Concept, also pictured here, is the inspiration. It's pretty obvious the rendering artist started with the current sedan and made some slight modifications, mainly by stretching the hood and shortening the rear end, and added updated front and rear fascias. It's a fairly conservative take that, in our opinion, looks too familiar.
Hopefully, Mazda will take things several steps further with greater styling inspiration from the concept. A precise launch date remains unknown but rumor has it Mazda is targeting a 2022 reveal.