• Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Wieck
  • Image Credit: Mazda
  • Image Credit: Mazda
According to Edmunds, Mazda engineers are pressuring the company to create more rear-wheel-drive models, in an effort to better differentiate itself from its rivals. This push is reportedly coming from middle and senior engineers within the company, and these folks at Mazda believe this rear-drive strategy would allow the automaker to produce more distinctive, fun to drive cars. Mazda discontinued the rear-drive (and rotary-engined) RX-8 a few years ago, leaving the MX-5 Miata as the company's only RWD offering.

As enthusiasts, we're fully on board with Mazda offering more rear-drive cars, but unsurprisingly, the company's top management isn't exactly keen on the idea – and with good reason. First and foremost, the cost associated with redesigning fresh architecture for new models would be very high, and considering the fact that Mazda hasn't exactly been raking in the dough lately, an expensive new venture like this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. What's more, Mazda's latest front-drive models – the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 – have been very well-received, and are helping the company gain sales momentum.

But that doesn't mean there aren't other options. Edmunds reminds us that Mazda is already partnering with Alfa Romeo on the next-generation Miata, and if this collaboration is successful, perhaps the relationship could bear additional fruit. After all, Alfa Romeo is said to be working on returning to its rear-wheel-drive roots, so Mazda's engineers might be able to make a case for more RWD goodness after all.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 66 Comments
      imag
      • 1 Year Ago
      How can you not love the Mazda engineering folks? They really do care about driving. It is great to see them racking up the accolades and the sales. Considering the CAFE standards and Mazda's recent need to borrow money to get the latest round of vehicles out, I can see why it is a tough sell. That said, co-development with Alfa could potentially justify a RWD platform. Alfa needs such a platform, and Mazda could use it to go upmarket. Personally, though, I will be happy if they just use the new Miata platform to make a new RX coupe.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      +10 to Mazda engineers!
      dslay04
      • 1 Year Ago
      Always listen to you engineers
      John
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do it and they (I) will buy.
      artso06
      • 1 Year Ago
      See...this is why we LIKE Mazda.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      cpmanx
      • 1 Year Ago
      A deeper collaboration with Alfa that produces a RWD, high-performance, affordable (and profitable) Mazda 9? Seems like a long shot but hey, I can dream.
      BAirey
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's very cool to get a peek into the goings on inside one of my favorite car company's. I find myself saying more and more that Mazda is the new BMW. I really feel that a deeper connection between Mazda and Alfa Romeo would be beneficial to the industry as a whole. With the ground up redesign of the MX-5/Spyder chassis I suspect some modular capabilities were engineered in. I feel a fantastic second venture between the brands would be an RX-5/Giulia coupe line. Extend the wheelbase a bit in all directions and they would have a winner on their hands. Based on the success of said models would dictate whether RWD would be reasonable on a higher volume model line, like the next gen Mazda 6. Or, like was mentioned, an upscale model Mazda 9 and a corresponding Alfa model to take on the 5 series. On a slightly different topic, why doesn't Mazda license it CX5 platform for the much needed Alfa CUV. With their platform and Alfas 1750cc turbo 4 they would all win. One of the best tie ups in auto history IMHO.
        Justin Campanale
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BAirey
        The 5 series co petitor you mentioned is already being developed. It will share its platform with the Maserati Ghibli and the next Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Agent55
      • 1 Year Ago
      This makes so much sense to me, if one of the low-to-middle range Japanese manufacturers (Honda, Mazda etc.) adopted rear-drive to most of their platforms they'd instantly become the favorite amongst enthusiasts. Can you imagine a rear-drive Mazda 6? It'd be fantastic!
      sampson
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the best idea I've heard in a long time... Mazda needs to have: 1) The miata (stick w/ the formula that made this car a classic. Lightweight Sporty 2 Seater convertible) 2) a 2+2 RWD Coupe hardtop to compete w/ the GT86. (Could make the base model 200 hp a Mazdaspeed model with 300-350 hp version to take on the Z, mustang, camaro, etc.) 3) a Coupe/Sedan RWD to replace or sit above the Mazda 6. (Think poor man's 3 series)
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