Japan’s Best Car magazine has caught on to a rumour that Toyota plans to use a forthcoming mild-hybrid inline six-cylinder engine that Mazda is working on.
Best Car broke the Mazda engine news earlier this year, but Toyota’s interest in the powerplant is a new idea. (Best Car’s article is in Japanese, and our interpretation of it comes with help from Google Translate.)
The engine is reportedly a 3.0 L inline six with mild hybrid assist provided by a 48-volt electrical system. That’s a configuration that Mercedes-Benz has recently put into production.
A Mazda financial statement laying out some of the company’s near-future plans shows that the inline-six is destined for the next-generation Mazda6 sedan, which will ride on an also-forthcoming and all-new front-engine, rear-drive platform.
Best Car suggests Toyota is keen on using the new Mazda hybrid six-cylinder in a future version of its IS compact sedan. There’s indirect precedent for that in Toyota’s licensing of the Mazda2, which the former sells as its entry-level Yaris model.
Lexus apparently also has other plans for Mazda’s forthcoming inline six: Best Car says the brand is developing a new performance car that will slot in between the RC and LC coupes and compete against the likes of the BMW 6 Series (in Gran Coupe form, most likely) and Audi A7.
Best Car says the next-gen Mazda6 will appear with the new six-cylinder and rear-wheel drive platform in 2022.