Japanese automakers Honda, Toyota and Nissan have all taken the conservative approach to restyling their mid-size sedans. Mazda, however, gave a clear indication when it revealed the Takeri concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, that it would take a chance and, as usual, march to the beat of a different drum.
With teasers of the 2014 Mazda6 already released and a collection of spy photos available, this expert rendering incorporates all we know to bring the next-generation mid-size Mazda to life. The brand’s Kodo design language is evident in the swooping creases of the sheetmetal with pronounced fenders and a sleek profile. Remarkably similar to the concept car, it’s a clear sign that Mazda may be alone among its Japanese kin in recognizing the threat from Korean automakers like Hyundai and Kia comes in part due to progressive new designs.
When it hits out shores in 2013, styling won’t be the only big news related to the all-new Mazda6. For starters it will ride on an all-new light weight platform as part of the brand’s Skyactiv initiative. Mazda has committed to reducing the weight of its vehicles by at least 100 kg, or 220 lbs. With the current 6 tipping the scales at 3,272 lbs, this new model could approach, or even break through, the 3,000 lb barrier.
If Mazda does decide to equip the 6 with its new Skyactiv-G gasoline engine, we’d expect a slight power bump from the motor, as it currently produces just 150 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque in the CX-5. No V6 engine will be offered but for those looking for added power, expect the 6 to be the first US Mazda to come equipped with a diesel engine. The new Skyactiv-D powerplant will make roughly 165 hp as as much as 300 lb-ft (or more) of torque.
We’ve already driven this new engine in a prototype Mazda6 and came away seriously impressed. What makes it so unique is its higher-than-usual redline and max power. The Skyactiv-D engine redlines at 5200 rpm, significantly higher than the 4500 rpm limit of its competitors and feels much more like a larger displacement gasoline motor, than a small diesel one. It also doesn’t require any AdBlue after treatment exhaust fluid, unlike many German diesels.
What isn’t clear yet is if the North American-spec Mazda6 will come equipped with the brand’s new regenerative braking or start-stop systems.
Rumors point to the official reveal of the 2014 Mazda6 at the Paris Motor Show this fall, although it’s likely to be just the European wagon version with a possible sedan debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2013.