The thing with Japanese auto companies is that they all own a little bit of each other. So while there is competition, there’s also sharing since one wouldn’t want to lose their investment in the other. To that end, Mazda has been quietly developing a straight-six SkyActiv engine for use in many future Toyota models. That would also include Lexus. So this next Mazda6 will be the first recipient of what should be a gang of powerful cars coming from both Toyota and Lexus. This also means that for the first time the Mazda6 will shed its transverse/FWD architecture for a straight-six engine with rear-wheel-drive. This could mean that this next Mazda6 will smoke Mercedes.
The 2022 Mazda6 might knock Mercedes off of its benchmark
Forever it seems that Mercedes has been the benchmark for luxury vehicles. Styling, on the other hand, has always been a bit stuffy and mundane. But you can consider that Mercedes’ schtick if you will. Over the years the German company has squandered its engineering and technology and lost some of its most important virtues. Mechanically it has become overly complex and a bit unreliable.
Companies like Hyundai’s Genesis and of course Lexus have slowly nudged into Mercedes’ realm with better engineering, matched technology, and much better-looking vehicles. Oh, and at a far cheaper price. After a while, it becomes a strain to make cars that are a third or more expensive but only equal many other features and don’t look especially compelling. That’s the stage that Mercedes finds itself at now.
Enter the 2022 Mazda6 with SkyActiv-X engine
Enter the 2022 Mazda6. Besides the SkyActiv-X six engine, it will also be aided by a 48-volt hybrid system. Power could be just shy of 400 hp. A diesel version of this six-cylinder engine will also be coming down the line, too.
Styling-wise the Mazda6 will be using the company’s “Large Architecture” rear-wheel-drive sedan platform. It takes a nod from the Vision Coupe concept of a few years ago. That was a four-door. But rumor has it that Mazda is looking more closely at Lexus’ playbook and is considering a two-door coupe. It may as well pull out all of the stops and see just how far their “Large Architecture” can go.
It may be that Toyota uses the Skyactiv-X in the next Lexus IS and RC due in 2021 as a 2022 model. Car and Driver is saying Toyota will stay with its TNGA platform and current Lexus engines until all-new models come in 2026. Then there is reason to believe the Large Architecture will be adopted by Toyota to place a sedan between the RC and LC.
Let’s consider Mazda is eyeing Genesis and “affordable luxury” segment
For now. let’s consider that Mazda may be eyeing Genesis and looking at how it can break into the “affordable luxury” segment. If that’s true then what you see here combined with RWD and a straight-six could make things more than a little uncomfortable for the high-priced, high-flying German triumvirate of Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.
Put another way, if you’re drawn to the next Mazda6 styling and price you might want to consider it as the smart luxury choice rather than the expensive luxury choice. 5