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Malcolm Flynn | Oct 18, 2012

Mazda has revealed new details of its new 6 midsizer, debuting at the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) today.

Fresh from appearances at the Moscow and Paris shows, the new model will launch in sedan and wagon bodystyles only - with the current hatch variant dropped from the line-up.

Both bodystyles are larger than their current 6 equivalents, but promise efficiency improvements and reduced weight across the range.

The new 6 will follow the hugely successful CX-5 SUV as the second model to adopt the full range of SkyActiv efficiency technology and the ’KODO’ design language.

Curiously, the wagon bodystyle uses an 80mm shorter wheelbase than the sedan’s 2830mm measurement.

Both wheelbases are longer than the 2725mm of all current 6 bodystyles, improving knee room by 43mm for the sedan, and 22mm for the wagon.

The wagon’s overall length is also shorter than sedan, measuring 4800mm compared with 4865mm for sedan, while the current 6 wagon’s 4765mm overall length is conversely 30mm longer than the sedan and hatch.

The 2013 6’s all-new SKYACTIV platform makes wider use of ultra-high tensile steel which has not only reduced weight, but improved torsional rigidity by approximately 30 percent for sedan and 45 percent for the wagon.

Mazda Australia expects the new 6 to continue to outsell key rivals Honda Accord Euro and Subaru Liberty, in a segment dominated by Toyota’s Camry.

 

Mechanical Package

The new 6’s mechanicals are headlined by the standard inclusion of Mazda’s new i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system.

This capacitor-based system stores regenerated electric energy, reducing load and therefore friction on the vehicle’s alternator and delivering both performance and efficiency gains.

Efficiency will also be aided by the inclusion of the i-Stop stop-start system across the range.

Engine choices include the new SKYACTIV-G 2.5 litre petrol four, producing 138kW/ 250Nm. This represents a 10 per cent increase in power and an 11 percent increase in torque over the current 6’s 2.5 litre petrol option.

Sitting atop the petrol engine will be the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 litre turbodiesel found in CX-5 models, delivering the same 129kW/420Nm in 6 guise.

Fuel consumption is rated at 5.4l/100km for diesel models, while petrol models carry a still-impressive 6.6l/100km figure.

A conventional six-speed auto will be the sole transmission choice for both engines, representing a significant step from the previous model where the diesel was exclusively manual

 

Features

Inside, the new 6 mimics the subtle design of the CX-5, including soft-touch materials for high contact areas.

A 3.5 inch display ahead of the driver diplays all trip computer functions, while a five inch colour multimedia interface is used in the centre stack.

The new 6’s raft of i-ACTIVSENSE safety features have been detailed previously (Click here for more on Mazda6 safety), but Mazda Australia is yet to confirm how these will be spread across spec levels.

As previously, the sedan features a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, while the wagon version maintains the ‘karakuri’ mechanism that integrates the seat base to permit flat-folding of the backrests.

All Australian models now feature a space saver spare wheel, despite seats-up cargo capacity dropping (from 519 litres) to 438 litres for sedan, and 451 litres for wagons.

Entry models will come equipped with 17inch wheels, while higher-end versions will score 19s.

Mazda has today confirmed that the new 6 will arrive in local showrooms from the beginning of December.

For more Mazda news and reviews, and related cars, see our links below.

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