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Brand New Mazda 6

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Malcolm Flynn | Aug 31, 2012

Mazda is considering a return of the turbocharged Mazda6 MPS, according to whispers coming out of Europe.

According to UK mag Auto Express, Mazda6 program manager Hiroshi Kajiyama has suggested that a future performance flagship is on the cards.

“There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand,” Kajiyama said.

While the outgoing Mazda6 missed out on an MPS variant, a performance flagship for the new model would continue the theme set out by Mazda when it set the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 as a benchmark.

A performance model would likely employ an all-wheel-drive layout, though it is unclear whether a diesel or petrol engine would provide motive force.

The 132kW/400Nm diesel version of the current 6 has been the range’s performance leader since its 2008 launch, and this could continue with a tweaked version of the new model’s 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D engine.

However, a strategy similar to the previous MPS model’s 2.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine could also be employed.

2013 mazda6 overseas 01

Kajiyama also suggested that further performance-boosting weight reductions are possible for the model, beyond the 50kg reduction already achieved in the base car.

The higher price-point of the flagship model could permit the use of costlier aluminium or composite exterior panels to achieve this weight reduction.

A performance flagship using lightweight panels would be in line with Kajiyama’s high expectations for the 6 range; “the CX-5 heightened the brand position. This car has to raise it further again.”

Mazda6 Coupe

Mazda is also believed to be considering a coupe version of the new 6, rivalling the likes of Honda's US-market Accord Coupe and - although more upmarket - Audi's A5.

For now, only sedan and wagon bodystyles have been revealed, with the sleek roofline of the new model ruling out the continuation of a hatch model.

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