Mazda's next generation midsize sedan and small sedan/hatch will be built atop the recently-unveiled CX-5 crossover's architecture.
CX-5 project manager Hideaki Tanaka says that the all-new CX-5 platform will form the basis for the upcoming all-new Mazda3 and Mazda6, and is the first wholly Mazda-developed architecture since the Japanese automaker parted ways with Ford in 2008.
Mazda has shared many of its platforms and powertrains with Ford since the American company began investing in Mazda in 1979. The current GH Mazda6 , DE Mazda2 and BL Mazda3 all have much in common with several Ford products, however the replacements for all of these models will soon use chassis technology that's unique to Mazda.
This will also be the first time that the Mazda3 and Mazda6 will use the same underpinnings, with both models having been based on different floorpans in the past.
The new platform promises to be significantly stronger than previous generation Mazdas, thanks to the use of ultra-high tensile steel. With a higher strength-to-weight ratio, the additional rigidity will likely not come with a weight penalty.
Mazda's typically class-leading handling dynamics should translate well to the new cars, with the new architecture able to accomodate an independent multi-link rear suspension and all-wheel-drive.
The company's range of ultra-efficient Skyactiv engines will feature prominently in the new Mazda3 and Mazda6, although precise powertrain details for either model have yet to surface.