More performance and more style, all in the name of “enhancing the lives of people who love cars.”
Even with two relatively new SUVs and a retractable fastback variant of the MX-5 making a splash on dealership lots, Mazda hasn't forgotten the need to keep its flagship sedan the competitive amplifier for its brand philosophy that it is today. By that, we mean instill it with updates that are designed to "enhance the daily lives of people who love cars," as Mazda itself says. So how did the underdog Japanese automaker go about doing this for the new Mazda6?
The same way it improved on the CX-5: by combining new engineering concepts intended to enhance the car's drivability with new exterior and interior decor to increase appeal, fit, and finish. On the powertrain end of things, Mazda took the time to give the 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine a cylinder deactivation feature that enables the four-cylinder to become a two-cylinder when less power is needed. That doesn't exactly enhance driving fun, but if that's a concern then maybe the added option of a turbocharged 2.5-liter SkyActiv—the same one that's fitted to the CX-9—will do the trick. Mazda didn't quote any horsepower figures for the turbocharged Mazda6, but it did claim torque figures on par with a 4.0-liter V8.
It's important to remember that 2.5-liter turbo makes 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque in the CX-9. Not like the interior decorators got the memo about the Mazda6's sporty behavior. Merging materials like Japanese sea wood with a philosophy of "mature elegance," Mazda bestowed the cabin with a premium feel that will give the sedan a comfortable and upscale atmosphere. A host of safety features, all encompassed within Mazda's range of i-ActivSense features, will provide mental comfort by including radar cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop and take off once traffic begins to move, as well as 360-degree cameras to help with parking. Owners will be thankful for that addition when looking at the pretty new exterior.
Taking cues from the most advanced production car design in the family, the CX-5, Mazda fragmented the front end—pushing the grille further in and swapping slats for texturized mesh—before rearranging the chrome strip so that it runs under the taillights. The effect is pulled off wonderfully, but it may not be the only set of upgrades Mazda makes to the exterior of its large sedan. To see the rest, we'll have to wait until Mazda pulls the wraps off at the 2017 LA Auto Show.