Mazda6: Tasty Takeri-flavoured teaser

By Alastair Sloane

A teaser shot of the 2013 Mazda6 to be unveiled at the Moscow Motor Show in August. Photo / Supplied
A teaser shot of the 2013 Mazda6 to be unveiled at the Moscow Motor Show in August. Photo / Supplied

No surprises - the front styling of the new Mazda6 reflects that of the Takeri concept car on which it is based.

The teaser image shows the same "shield" grille from the concept along with swept-back headlights and flared wheel arches. The sharp window line of the Takeri study is apparent in earlier teaser pictures and video.

Mazda unveiled the Takeri concept at the Tokyo motor show last year. Now it has released the first official photos of the Mazda6 front and rear.

A chrome strip - a defining element of the company's Kodo design language that appeared first on the CX-5 - defines the lower edge of the grille and runs on into the headlights.

As indicated in a 21-second teaser video, the Mazda6 grille is slightly slimmer than on the Takeri.

Mazda will launch the car at the Moscow motor show next month. Russia is Mazda's biggest market in Europe and the show car will be a Russian-specification model powered by a direct-injection SkyActiv 2-litre petrol engine.

The third-generation mid-size sedan will also will be one of the stars of the Paris show at the end of September before it lands here early next year.

It will be built as a sedan and station wagon; the hatchback variant has been dropped.

Mazda New Zealand managing director Andrew Clearwater says there is a lot of excitement in New Zealand around the new car.

"The Mazda6 has been a standout performer for us in New Zealand since its launch in 2002 and we expect this new model to prove just as popular," he said.

Mechanically, the Mazda6 will follow the lead of the CX-5 and make full use of Mazda's fuel-saving SkyActiv technologies, including lightweight construction, efficient petrol and diesel engines with a start-stop system, and a specially designed six-speed automatic transmission.

It will also introduce the company's new brake energy regeneration system, called i-ELOOP, which Mazda says marks stage two of its "Building Block Strategy for environmental technology development".

The carmaker wants to exhaust traditional automotive technologies before introducing electric devices to further improve fuel economy.

The most economic global drivetrain will be a 2.2-litre low-compression turbo-diesel engine, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox to deliver claimed fuel consumption of 4.2 litres/100km, or 67mpg. Engineers have said to expect CO2 emissions as low as 109gr/km for the 2.2-litre diesel.

Mazda will limit Mazda6 sedan and wagon powertrains to four-cylinder petrol and diesel units with direct-injection Skyactiv technology. It has removed six-cylinder engines from its portfolio and will launch a new wave of four-cylinder Skyactiv powertrains with different stages of tune.

The engines will be turbocharged in some cases and mated to more efficient transmissions to power Mazda models that will be lighter.

The newcomer will become the second model - after the CX-5 - to make use of SkyActiv technology, which includes everything from the chassis to the engine and gearbox, and is likely to ride on a wheelbase 50mm longer than the present car.

The carmaker says: "New Mazda6 will stand as the flagship model for a new generation of Mazda products.

"It features a sense of dignity, style, luxury feel and comfort expected from a vehicle in the CD segment, while offering the pleasure of responsive and agile driving, which is at the core of the Mazda brand."

The cars will be built in Hofu, Japan.

- NZ Herald

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