One of Our Favorite SUVs Could Be About to Get More Like a BMW

How does a smooth, powerful inline-six engine in your Mazda crossover sound to you?

2020 mazda cx 5 gear patrol lead full

Mazda has been racking up renown for its vehicles for quite a few years now, and the brand’s hot streak shows no signs of slowing. Its latest models, the CX-30 and Mazda3, made up two of the three finalists for this year’s World Car of the Year award; the CX-9 and CX-5 crossovers may be older, but their blend of style, luxury and driving fun make them excellent choices to this dau.

But Mazda’s current crop of SUVs might be greatly outshined by what’s to come. According to a report, Mazda’s CX-5 could be replaced by a crossover using a rear-wheel-drive-based, inline-six-equipped chassisjust like a BMW.

The rumor comes from Spanish automotive website CocheSpias, which claims to have found an engine list for the CX-5’s replacement, which they claim will be called the CX-50. (Given that Mazda brought in the CX-30 alongside the CX-3 before quietly pushing the latter aside, this could well mean the new Mazda will be sold alongside its replacement for a time.)

That report suggests the top engines will be the 3.3-liter inline-six turbodiesel and a 3.0-liter inline-six gas engine that the company revealed last year in an internal presentation — two engines that are designed to be used in the company’s new so-called “Large Architecture.” What make the Large Architecture so interesting is that, unlike every Mazda on sale now bar the MX-5 Miata, it’s designed as a rear-wheel-drive platform, not a front-wheel-drive one. (It’ll also offer all-wheel-drive, much like many current Mazdas do.) The platform is already expected to underpin the next-gen Mazda6, so it’s little surprise that it would find use in other vehicles from the brand.

This inline-six / rear-wheel-drive-based setup is the sort of setup usually used by luxury cars, not mainstream ones; combined with Mazda’s emphasis on driving pleasure, it has us hopeful that the future Mazda CX-50 could prove to be one of the most entertaining SUVs on sale. Indeed, seeing as how the CX-5 manages to do that even while being built on an aging FWD-based platform, we’re guessing the new crossover will be downright fun.

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