Mazda has revealed its new Mazda6 turbo sedan at the 2017 Los Angeles motor show that breaks new territory. It brings more performance, premium appeal and a subtle facelift to the brand’s flagship passenger car. Here’s everything you need to know about the updated sedan that arrives here next year.
There's a powerful petrol turbo under the bonnet
The headline news is Mazda’s decision to drop the turbocharged 2.5-litre engine from its CX-9 into the Mazda6, where it joins a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre motor and 2.2-litre turbo diesel already offered by the brand.
The new petrol turbo engine produces 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque and Mazda says it offers similar pulling power to a compact V8.
The Japanese brand expects to offer the naturally aspirated engine - which now features cylinder deactivation - in entry and mid-range Mazda6 Sport and Touring models, reserving the new turbo motor and carry-over diesel for the high-grade GT and Atenza duo.
Unlike the older Mazda6 MPS turbo which was all-wheel drive, the new Mazda6 turbo drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that provides a direct lock-up at speed and offers similar response to a manual transmission. Mazda’s says its automatic doesn’t sacrifice the “connectedness between driver and car” unlike CVT transmissions.
The CX-9 that shares its engine with the Mazda6 is a favourite in the TMR office, part of that is down to the real-world performance of its smooth and quiet engine, which features a clever turbo design to minimise lag, and it should prove a worthy addition to the sedan lineup.
It has improved NVH
The new Mazda6 also promises to bring a “more supple ride, greater agility and dramatically improved NVH”, or noise, vibration and harshness, thanks to revised suspension, chassis bracing, thicker sheet metal and sturdier suspension mounts to shield occupants from the outside world.
Mazda won plenty praise for the quiet cabin of its CX-9 which due in part to the hushed turbo engine and new approach to vibration control.
It is more premium
Mazda has decided to push its premium line update for its updated sedan after finding 60 per cent of CX-9 SUV customers are choosing high-grade GT or top-end Azami models. Sales of the range-topping CX-9 are 40 per cent higher than expected, so the brand is pumping up the premium appeal of the Mazda6 Atenza.
Updates for the Atenza include new front seats with heating and cooling in a wider, more accommodating layout, which is also available with brown Nappa leather seats inspired by aged wood in ancient temples. Continuing the Japanese cultural theme, ornamental Sen wood can be embellished by UltraSuede trim with a gold tint produced using a similar process used to create traditional kimonos.
Mazda’s latest soul red crystal and machine grey paint finishes will also be an option.
The addition of autonomous emergency braking as a standard across the Mazda6 range leaves only the MX-5 and BT-50 as the only models missing out. Australian Mazda6 models will also get full-speed active cruise control with stop-and-go functionality as standard, along with lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed assistance.
Further up the tree, high-grade models will also feature a 360-degree camera, updated 8-inch infotainment screen, a 7-inch digital dash readout and head-up display systems to improve driver awareness.
It will be here next year
The new Mazda6 sedan is set to arrive on our shores in the third quarter of 2018 - possibly in July or August.
Pricing for the model has not been confirmed, though it is likely that high-grade models with the turbo engine will cost a little more than the outgoing model, which is priced between $32,490 and $49,540 plus on-road costs.
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