The new Mazda6 is the second vehicle to debut featuring Mazda's KODO design language. The pentagonal grill that flows into organic headlamps immediately identify this vehicle as the sibling of the 2013 CX-5 that we recently tested.
The 6 will also be the second model to be built from the ground up using Mazda's Skyactiv vehicle construction philosophy. Following in the footsteps of the CX-5, the Mazda6 benefits from lightweight body and engine construction and a number of engine efficiency technologies.
Not the least of which is Mazda's new Skyactiv-G and Skyactiv-D engines. The G is for gasoline and the the Mazda6 will be available with either a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter engine or a 189-horsepower 2.5-liter engine. Skyactiv-D turbodiesel engines are available as 147 hp and 173 hp variants, both displacing 2.2-liters.
The Mazda6 will debut the automaker's i-ELOOP regenerative braking system that recaptures energy normally wasted by braking and stores it in a capacitor. Capacitors are lighter than batteries and can charge more quickly, but can't hold that power long term, so Mazda's i-ELOOP system converts and redistributes the recaptured juice to power the 6's 12-volt system and charge the battery.
The Mazda6 wagon goes on sale as a 2013 model in Europe later this year. Unfortunately, US buyers needn't get their hopes up about seeing this model at their local dealership. Mazda's not announced anything for the dwindling number of North American wagon lovers.
The same 2.0, 2.5 and 2.2-liter diesel engine options will be available here, as will Mazda's i-ELOOP. Both vehicles will also feature Mazda's i-Stop technology that stops the engine from idling to save fuel. Mazda claims that it's ability to stop the engine at the perfect position for restarting makes its system more seamless than others.
Inside, the Mazda6's similarities to the CX-5 continue. The dashboard felt well put together when rapped with my knuckles and the seats were supportive enough for the show floor. We'll have to round some bends while behind the wheel to truly judge them.
Though not powered on here, it is obvious that this is the same infotainment system that debuted on the CX-5 that we recently tested. That means you'll get Bluetooth hands-free calling, a full array of digital audio sources, and a solid-state navigation system that's powered by TomTom.
In a perfect world, I'd be reporting that Mazda just announced an all-wheel drive, turbocharged Mazdaspeed6 wagon for the US market, but this isn't a perfect world and I can't expect any automaker to build a car that it can't sell. So, I'll have to make due with the efficient technologies and sexy styling of the Mazda6 sedan when it lands in North America in 2013.