Mazda’s move into the premium space isn’t coming without casualties. The company’s Mazdaspeed performance brand is dead, and a move upmarket likely means we’ll see higher prices, too. However, repositioning the Japanese brand may pay dividends as the company prepares the next-generation Mazda CX-5. A new report says the crossover will ride on the company’s new rear-wheel-drive platform and receive six-cylinder engines.

The report arrives from (translated), and it corroborates a report from earlier this summer that hinted that the model would be receiving inline-six engines. The new report says the next-gen CX-5, which could be on par with the Mercedes GLC and BMW X5, will share Mazda’s new rear-wheel-drive platform with the next-gen Mazda6 saloon, and we know the company is developing new inline-six engines for it. Those mills, possibly 3.0- and 3.3-litre engines, should make their way under the CX-5’s new bonnet.

Gallery: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Long Term

This summer’s earlier report also suggested that Mazda would retire the CX-5 nameplate in favour of CX-50, though counters that, saying that the CX-50 will be a coupe-like version of the CX-5 and could join the lineup. The CX-5 and CX-50 could follow a similar path as the recently revealed CX-30, with Mazda making room for the CX-30 between the CX-3 and CX-5. The company could do something similar for the CX-50, positioning it above the CX-5 and below the much larger CX-9. More crossovers and SUVs wouldn’t hurt.

There’ve been reports that Mazda won’t reveal any new models through March 2022, which means we could be waiting a while before seeing any new Mazda products. We know there’s a new Mazda6 in development alongside several new powertrains. While the next 18 months will feel empty without a new Mazda, we expect the company’s absence to deliver some pleasant surprises. The brand continues to stand out with an emphasis on design and performance, and a move upmarket should increase that focus.