The Mazda3 and Mazda6 are two very strong competitors in their respective segments, but there’s one thing missing from the vehicles: all-wheel drive.
In a recent interview with Australia’s CarAdvice, CEO of Mazda’s North American operations, Masahiro Moro, said the automaker hasn’t offered AWD on the 3 or 6 due to packaging issues with the vehicles. The more premium and upscale 6 sedan would especially benefit from all-wheel drive, though Moro said AWD can’t be combined with the 2.5-liter turbo engine added to the vehicle for the 2018 model year.
“I think we are not able to combine four-wheel drive and the 2.5-litre turbo. We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda 3 and 6 so far,” Moro said. “But there is a huge demand, at least what I know is that in the east coast of the USA, 80 or 90 per cent of premium sedans are sold with all-wheel drive.”
“Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he added.
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It sounds as though neither the current Mazda3 nor the Mazda6 will be receiving all-wheel drive. Rather than trying to shoehorn an AWD system into those tightly packaged vehicles, the automaker will instead take into consideration the demand for AWD when developing next-generation versions of them.
Mazda previewed the next-generation 3 hatchback at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show with the Kai concept, which is larger than the current 3 and should arrive sometime in 2019. A next-generation Mazda6 is in development as well and was previewed with the gorgeous Vision Coupe concept in Tokyo, though the all-new 6 sedan will likely arrive at a later date than the 3.
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