A fresh report out of the United States claims the next-generation Mazda6 will switch to a rear-wheel-drive layout and offer inline-six power.

According to Car and Driver, the fourth-generation Mazda6 will hit the market towards the end of 2022, making the shift to a longitudinal-engine platform with rear-wheel drive and an inline-six.

Back in May 2019, of course, the Japanese firm confirmed it planned to build new inline-six petrol and diesel engines, while also hinting it would develop a fresh rear-wheel-drive platform for large vehicles.

The latest report suggests the next Mazda6 will be one of those vehicles, with the six-cylinder also set to be offered in Skyactiv-X guise (and possibly using a 48 V system, too). Car and Driver claims Mazda’s tie-up with Toyota will see the latter offering some of its substantial research and development budget to the powertrain side of the project, with the next-generation Lexus IS and RC most likely to benefit.

In addition, the US publication says there’s “even a chance” Mazda could drop its new inline-six engines into both four- and two-door bodies.

The third-generation Mazda6 was discontinued in South Africa in 2016 after flagging sales (according to Lightstone Auto, just 10 units were registered in SA that year).