Mazda appears to be bucking the engine downsizing trend. Nestled within its full-year financial results presentation is a brief mention of plans for a large architecture with inline-six compression ignition petrol and diesel engines, earmarked Skyactiv-X and second-generation Skyactiv-D, respectively, in addition to the evolution of its Kodo design language and upgrades to its small architecture Skyactiv powertrains.

This goes some way to explaining the long-nosed, cab-rearwards stance of the Mazda Vision Coupe concept that was first unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, which could point to a more upscale direction for the next-generation Mazda 6 sedan. The page also notes that the longitudinal configuration will take i-Activ all-wheel-drive. So far, the MX-5 is the only current Mazda with a north-south engine layout.

The more complex technical development in play will push what seems to be the next Mazda 6 squarely into the European premium segment, for which Mazda’s re-adopted longitudinal driveline layout has been a staple. The inline-six engine configuration, once nearly exclusive to BMW, now also comes in renewed offerings from Jaguar Land Rover as well as Mercedes-Benz.

Mazda will also incorporate mild and plug-in hybrid electrification for these new engines. Mazda has also confirmed to Jalopnik in a statement, saying “We’re excited to bring these powertrains to our future vehicles as we continue on our path to premium,” though specific details will “be disclosed at an appropriate time,” the Japanese automaker said.

Now, given that the Vision Coupe concept is, well, a coupe, could this pave the way for a similarly sized premium two-door production car? Will it mean a resurgence of past nameplates, or the advent of new ones?

GALLERY: Mazda Vision Coupe concept