Mazda is about to inject some concept car fizz into its 6 range – 2013’s new family car will draw heavily on the swoopy Takeri concept car shown at last autumn’s Tokyo motor show. Only minor details such as handles and mirrors will change, as depicted by CAR’s artist’s impressions.
But it’s not just a sassy new style that makes us sit up and take notice of the new Mazda 6. It’s the second production car borne out of the firm’s new SkyActiv engineering philosophy: carrying on from where the Gram strategy shaved every last ounce from the MX-5, Mazda now builds all its road cars to the weight-obsessed SkyActiv blueprint.
Mazda 6: the Skyactiv tech
It brings a lightweight modular architecture and a suite of clean petrol and diesel engines – which Mazda claims are nearly as frugal as hybrids without a bulky EV battery in sight. The Takeri’s 2.2 turbodiesel spat out 173bhp and 310lb ft, yet Mazda claimed just 104g/km of CO2.
Such cleanliness should be achievable on the new 6 since it’ll sport SkyActiv staples such as stop/start, low-friction components and regenerative braking. Dubbed i-ELOOP, this braking system harnesses energy when you dab the brakes and stores it in a capacitor to run the car’s electric systems. This saves battery drain and is claimed to stretch combined fuel economy by up to 10%.
Mazda 6 lands at the 2012 Paris motor show
Expect to see the new Mazda 6 at the Paris motor show this autumn – pointing to availability at UK dealers early in 2013. Two bodystyles will again be offered – a four-door hatchback or a sleek tourer – and we’d predict prices to kick off at around £20,000 for the base models.
Why no hatchback? Because Mazda polled the product ranges from premium car makers and saw that five-doors are deemed more mainstream. So four-door it is, albeit with a coupe-like rakishness.
Mazda might be losing money globally, but it’s trying to build its way out of a hole with new product to lure customers away from mainstream brands Ford and Vauxhall – and mid-market types such as Volkswagen and Honda.
The new CX-5 launching this summer is the first of a glut of newcomers: the 6 arrives next and by 2016 every model in the range will have been replaced.