Inline-6 and RWD tipped for the next-generation Mazda 6

Mazda has something exciting coming for fans of its Mazda 6 with the next generation of the car. When the current generation car (pictured) is replaced with the next-generation ride by the end of 2022, the Mazda 6 will reportedly roll on an entirely new platform. The new platform will allow the car to have a longitudinal engine layout and rear-wheel drive.A move from the current-generation car's front-wheel-drive layout to rear-wheel drive will go a long way towards making the model more appealing to driving enthusiasts. Along with the change to rear-wheel drive will also reportedly come a new Skyactiv-X inline six-cylinder engine.

Rumors have suggested that the engine could make up to 350 horsepower. That inline 6-cylinder engine is reportedly going to be used by Toyota in the next-generation Lexus IS and RC. The car is expected to resemble the Mazda Vision Coupe concept from 2017 with a long hood and short deck.

There is an indication that Mazda might put the inline-six under the hood of both two-door and four-door models. Another interesting part of this rumor is that the engine is tipped to be combined with a 48-volt hybrid system.

Several automakers have been positioning their hybrid systems, notably Lincoln, for performance rather than frugality. Some combination of both of those aspects would be welcome in the next-generation Mazda 6. Giving the next-generation version of the car 350 horsepower and rear-wheel drive would certainly give Mazda some additional performance appeal to a line that has one sporty car with the MX-5. Mazda's new 6 is expected to be on sale by the end of 2022.