Posts Tagged ‘mazda6’

Mazda6 diesel delayed until April

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 13th, 2013

Filed under: , , ,

2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D

Diesel enthusiasts waiting on the new Skyactiv-D-powered Mazda6 will have to wait a bit longer. The shapely fuel-efficient four-door has just had its North American launch pushed back to April, due to delays in emissions testing. Mazda had originally planned to launch the Mazda6 diesel before the end of this year, making the four- to five-month delay a rather serious one.

Mazda’s senior vice president of US operations, Robert Davis, told Mazda employees in a letter obtained by Automotive News that, “final certification testing – the results of which are looking encouraging – is taking longer than we had initially expected.” Following this letter, Mazda made an official announcement:

“The on-sale date for Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel has been moved to late-Spring 2014, to accommodate final emissions testing and certification. We are pleased with the ongoing development and are excited to launch this much-anticipated vehicle in North America. 2014 Mazda6 sales continue to exceed both our expectations and our production abilities, and supplies of the car are short at dealers across the U.S. More information on the SKYACTIV-D clean diesel Mazda6 will be available closer to the on-sale date.”

Mazda is set to become the only Japanese manufacturer in the North American diesel game when the 6 arrives. The brand, which has famously eschewed hybrid technology in favor of its Skyactiv philosophy, favoring lightweight, highly efficient components in the name of saving fuel, made waves when it announced the 2.2-liter turbodiesel. In a way, the fuel-sipping powerplant takes the place of a larger V6 in the Mazda6 lineup, generating just 173 horsepower, but compensating with 310 pound-feet of torque.

The delay in certification will lead to dealers getting an additional 4,000 gas-powered Mazda6s to make up for the lack of diesel early in 2014.

Mazda6 diesel delayed until April originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 Sep 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 26th, 2013

Filed under: , , , ,

While it may not be touting the old “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” axiom we all know and love, Mazda recognizes that racing can only improve its cars. And so it’s no surprise that the Japanese automaker is testing and refining its Skyactiv-D diesel engine by sending it out on various race tracks around the country – notably being the first diesel ever to compete at Daytona and the first to notch a Grand Am win at Road Atlanta.

Next up? Indy. It has been over 60 years since a diesel-powered machine ran at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Cummins-powered racer that competed in the 1952 Indy 500 with a 6.6-liter inline-six-cylinder oil-burner was a fast and brutal machine that set a new lap record in qualifying leading up to the race. Though that car was withdrawn with turbocharger failure 71 laps in, its diesel powerplant left an indelible impression on the racing community, and that’s something Mazda hopes to accomplish once again.

Mazda says that the diesel engine in its race car is pretty darn close to stock – 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight – which means the way it performs in competition is at least a somewhat meaningful way to the stock engine’s durability in the real world. Check out the image of the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D racer posing alongside the 1952 Cummins above (click to enlarge) and feel free to peruse the press release below for the rest of the details.

Continue reading Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years

Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


2014 Mazda6: June 2013

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 15th, 2013

Filed under: , ,

The 2014 Mazda6 is our most recent addition to the Autoblog long-term fleet, and we spent the month of June getting to know our Soul Red tester, generally enjoying the honeymoon phase of this twelve-month relationship. During June, the Mazda6 spent the majority of its time with director of photography Drew Phillips, who in addition to putting together this pretty gallery of our rakish long-term car, had a lot to say about it as a daily driver.

You see, not too long before Mazda delivered our long-term 6, Drew bought a 2014 CX-5 crossover to support his growing family. The CX-5 was the first vehicle to use Mazda’s full suite of Skyactiv technologies, and we’ve generally enjoyed the good-to-drive CUV. A lot of that CX-5 goodness lies beneath the more shapely lines of this sleek Mazda6 sedan, so it’s only fitting that Drew had a lot of comparisons between Mazda’s two housemates during his month behind the wheel.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6: June 2013

2014 Mazda6: June 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


2014 Mazda6 i-Eloop to net 40 mpg hwy, 28 mpg city

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 5th, 2013

Filed under: , ,

Even before Mazda unveiled the 2014 Mazda6, it had introduced its innovative, non-hybrid i-Eloop (Intelligent Energy Loop) brake regeneration system. This technology converts kinetic energy into usable electricity using the alternator, a DC/DC converter and a capacitor mounted just behind the front fascia. During deceleration, the alternator captures energy that is then stored in the capacitor, which can later be used to directly power electric devices like climate control and audio systems. When i-Eloop power is used, it reduces the load on the engine and helps to conserve fuel.

Now available on the Mazda6, i-Eloop is only available on the $29,695 Grand Touring trim level as a part of the $2,080 GT Technology Package, meaning that buyers desiring i-Eloop will have to spend at least $31,775 (not including destination). The added price of this technology should be worth it for those looking for optimal fuel economy as the i-Eloop, combined with the package’s active grille shutters, will bump the sedan’s fuel economy numbers up to 28 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway – both are improvements of 2 mpg over the standard Mazda6 Grand Touring. The GT Technology Package also includes a Sport mode, lane departure warning, high beam control, radar cruise control and forward obstruction warning – the latter two technologies are currently offered in a $900 package that is being discontinued.

i-Eloop will eventually be offered on other Mazda products including the 2014 Mazda3. Scroll down for the official press release on the Mazda6’s fuel-saving i-Eloop technology.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6 i-Eloop to net 40 mpg hwy, 28 mpg city

2014 Mazda6 i-Eloop to net 40 mpg hwy, 28 mpg city originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 05 Jul 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 9th, 2013

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

When we first saw and drove new midsize sedans like the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion, we had a feeling the Toyota Camry would eventually see a challenge for the top sales spot, but we had no idea things would move this quickly. Automotive News is reporting that the quarter tallies still show the Camry holding a sizable lead over its competition, but the Altima did manage to outsell the Toyota by 100 units last month. While a single month of not outselling the competition might not be enough to unseat the Camry from its 11-year sales throne, it goes to show how far recent competitors in the segment have come.

The four best-selling cars in the midsize segment (in order) are the Camry, Honda Accord, Altima and Fusion, with each car boasting more than 80,000 units through the first three months of the year. Both the Accord and Fusion are seeing double-digit year-over-year sales increases while the Camry and Altima have dropped somewhat. And it wasn’t just Camry that was losing ground. As we saw in the March 2013 By The Numbers post, Toyota sales as a whole were down slightly from 2012 while all of its key competitors (Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and Nissan) were in the green.

After the top four sellers in the segment, the next closest midsizers are the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata, but these cars are well off the competitive pace. Although the 2014 Mazda6 isn’t expected to take too big of a bite out of the midsize market, its attractive design and available diesel engine could continue the shakeup of this once-predictable segment.

Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 21st, 2013

Filed under: , , , ,

2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon - profile view

This was sort of a quirky surprise drive opportunity. I’ve been over here in Italy for a while now, and Mazda Italia contacted me seemingly out of the blue to drive test some version of the Mazda6 with a diesel engine. Supremo. The Mazda6 is a sexy everyday beast and I have been digging their SkyActiv-D engines for a while now. Very spirited units.

My contact phones me the day of, and says he can come by with the car, and then we’ll head off to some sort of special spot for dynamics testing and technical conversation. Nice deal, say I.

My guy Ernesto pulls up outside of the house and – lo and behold – it’s a dang Mazda6 station wagon with the very most recent 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D motor good for 148 horsepower and healthy 280 pound-feet of torque. The wee four-banger with 14.0:1 compression ratio hauls this 3,260-pound wagon around with the best of them. A decent 0-to-60-mph time of 8.7 seconds, too.

Best touch? This one had the standard six-speed manual gearbox. We at Autoblog know how we bend a few noses the wrong way with our open cravings for exactly this sort of un-American car setup. But, oh my, did we have a good day together.

Driving Notes

  • First off, the Mazda6 sedan we just tested is a fine-looking conveyance. But if you like wagons like I do, this 2013 Mazda6 wagon is even finer. To my eyes, it doesn’t overdo it like some Infiniti models or the Nissan Juke, and any references to the swoopy Fisker Karma soon fade away. Mazda’s “Kodo” (“Soul of Motion”) design approach just works.
  • I was so geeked that this was a wagon. And the six-speed manual mated with the SkyActiv-D engine just took it over the top. Before hopping in, I noticed the optional set of really nice 19-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Turanza T001 treads, the latest vintage of this fine rubber.
  • Ernesto tells me that I am the very first in all of Italy to drive this engine trim outside of the company testers. “What about the Italian journos?,” I ask. He smiles and shrugs, meaning, “Too bad for them, I guess.”
  • This revvy and strong 2.2-liter turbodiesel is not the 173-hp tune that arrives in the U.S. later this year in the sedan, but it would do just fine on American roads. If the hp bump seems modest on the trim we’ll get, well, the torque bump is also a mild 30 lb-ft. Acceleration to 60 mph will be only a half-second quicker and fuel use will increase, though it will still be good at about 30 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway.
  • We pulled up outside of a go-kart track I know out in the middle of the northern Italian flatlands. Ernesto tells me this is the place. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Ever whipped a front-wheel-drive family wagon with manual shifter and small diesel engine around a karting circuit? Me either.
  • The terrific Turanza tires were smoking freely under the cranking enthusiasm of the 2.2-liter four. All of the torque was there at 1,800 revs and the action of the manual shifter proved smooth and precise. It was easy to heel-and-toe at all times – this, on an extremely tight kart track, not an open road with time to think built-in.
  • The wagon handled my induced-oversteer moves well, with superb steering and exceptional weight transfers exceptional. (It’s like this on almost any hopped-up wagon I’ve driven even a little like this. For instance, I prefer the Mini Cooper S JCW Clubman on a hot circuit versus the hardtop for this very reason).
  • All traction nannies were off and Ernesto and I were having a little more fun than I think his bosses had in mind. I started in with the Scandinavian handbraking, a technique that invariably enters the equation on such tracks, and we were giggling like school girls in short order.
  • The Mazda6’s rear suspension setup’s lateral arms do not, as many do, err forward and higher than the wheel hub. Instead they attach low, below the wheel center. This results in an extremely sporting attitude over twisty roads as the arms push at the rear wheel down lower and closer to the center line. This was most noticeable on track.

For the moment, no wagons are promised for the US, sadly. That’s a serious bummer for all of us; this Mazda6 wagon is a brilliantly executed design. Pretty damn good on a kart track, too.

2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


2014 Mazda6 i Sport

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 1st, 2013

Filed under: , ,

2014 Mazda6

In an automotive landscape dominated by platform sharing, technology exchange and any number of other cross-fertilization/cost-saving/amortization exercises, it’s actually pretty rare that we get to drive a new car that is as “all-new” as this, the 2014 Mazda6. With brand-spanking new Skyactiv architecture throughout – engine, transmission, body and chassis all included – this 6 represents a new era of flexible production and cutting edge running gear for the happily lithe car company.

Our own Jonathon Ramsey did a cracking job of running the Mazda6 through its First Drive paces a few months ago, and sufficiently impressed upon us just how good looking a car this is for the midsize sedan segment. Suffice it to say, now, then, that this is easily the most interesting (and quite possibly the most beautiful) midsize sedan in the segment today. However, as Mr. Ramsey reviewed a fully contented example of the 6 – one equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission – we took advantage of Mazda’s North American launch event of the car to suss out the base Mazda6 i Sport, complete with its six-speed Skyactiv manual gearbox. This may not shock you, but the stripper’s pretty good, too.

Driving Notes

  • We’ll get right down to the meat of it: The manual transmission is far better than the average do-it-yourself gearbox in this segment. Throws of the gearlever are light, short, and easy to put home with confidence. The clutch pedal, similarly, is very low-effort, but with a broad catch point that’s simple to operate in every driving situation we encountered. This isn’t a hewn-from-billet shifting experience, naturally, but it is a manual transmission that can be used with satisfaction in spirited driving, or mindlessly on the shopping run. The transmission is just perfectly suited to the power delivery of the smooth 2.5-liter motor, too.
  • The Sport trim car we tested had zero options – quite a rarity in the media fleet. Still, we found the cabin to be pretty accommodating and comfortable. The most noticeable interior bits on this base-level are the all-cloth seats and the old school head unit where the touchscreen display usually lives. The seats were fine – soft to the touch and seemingly resilient, with just a bit of gloss and texture to make them feel upscale without the cowhide. The head unit, meanwhile, while perfectly functional (and sure to be embraced by the Luddite set in our comments section), was both drab and old-fashioned looking. Naturally, the instrument panel was designed to accommodate a touchscreen – this is the 21st Century, after all – so its lack of one hampers the design. For one thing, the lack of color and brightness afforded by the display makes the dash look sort of dark and dreary by comparison.
  • So, just how inexpensive is the base model Mazda6 i Sport? The literal answer is $21,675 after the $795 destination fee has been added on. That’s pretty good, we thought. The relative answer is, of course, slightly more complicated. In a tooth-and-nail segment like this one, you’d expect pricing among the heavyweight players to be very close, and it is. Still, the new 6 is almost the class-leader. Comparing optionless, base-model MSRPs, plus destination charges, we find this: Toyota Camry is $23,030, Nissan Altima is $22,550, Honda Accord is $22,470 and Ford Fusion is $22,245. Volkswagen’s most basic Passat is just $21,640 though – about a night at the movies with your wife (not the kids) cheaper than the Mazda.
  • Mazda is in zero danger of loosing its ballyhooed Zoom-Zoom appeal with this 6 – the handling experience is impressive. While we were perhaps a bit less bullish about the car’s nimbleness on our test drive through some very hilly, winding Texas Hill Country roads than when cruising through the French countryside (again, see our First Drive), we still found the thing to be pretty tossable. Reactions to steering inputs, especially, were impressively fast for a car this big and long. The steering experience itself was a bit weightless, with not enough of a transition from on-lock to off-lock feeling of heft, but still very accurate and easy to modulate in a quick corner. Suspension response was admirable, too, on fast switchbacks. For all of that, the cruising ride didn’t suffer, though road and tire noise on the freeway was higher than we’d like.
  • Mazda will doubtlessly sell a lot of examples of this new Mazda6 based on its stunning sheetmetal and high levels of content in the middle/upper trims. Good to know that the base car is still pretty sweet then; and still a pleasantly differentiated product in a segment filled with one-upmanship.

2014 Mazda6 i Sport originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Feb 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


Mazda6 GX Grand-Am racer goes where no diesel sedan has gone before

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 27th, 2013

Filed under: , , , , ,

There has never been a four-door diesel sedan in the Grand-Am series, until now: The blunt, bewinged grille of the Mazda6 GX has blown right through that wall. It’s said that racing improves the breed, but usually the breed has gone on sale when the racing begins. One of the unusual aspects of the Mazda6 GX, on the other hand, is that while the diesel won’t go on sale to the public until later this year, it will already have tasted racing blood by the end of the day. That kind of reversal is more likely found with super coupes like the Lexus LFA and Honda NSX.

Mazda has taken class wins at Daytona’s 24-hour race a whopping 23 times since 1975, most recently in 2010 with the RX-8 in the GT class. This year the Hiroshima company decided to show off its SkyActiv technology, then turned things up to eleven by opting for its SkyActiv-D instead of the more conventional SkyActiv-G gas engine to run in the new GX class. It will be joined by competitors like the Lotus Evora and Porsche Cayman in the class, nevertheless, at 2.4 liters, it’s the smallest engine on the grid.

Time has not been a friend, either – Mazda said that the first five SkyActiv-D engines off the production line went to Speed Source in Coral Gables, Florida, the company that preps Mazda’s race vehicles. Still, race driver Jonathan Baumarito on the #70 car said that although the engine’s been on the dyno since February of last year, it’s only been in the car for about a month and there have been only a couple of test days.

Speed Source owner, team driver and multiple 24-hour winner Sylvain Tremblay – he drove in the teams that won in 2008 and 2010 in the RX-8 – said the big challenge right now is getting the gearing right. Both Tremblay and Baumarito said that the diesel’s torque is a plus through the Bus Stop section at the back of the course, entered after coming off the high-speed banked turn. But Tremblay said that the first infield section of horseshoes is more trying because the SkyActiv-D needs to be on boost to get its power on, and that doesn’t happen until after 3,500; maintaining that through slow-speed turns and having enough to get the job done through the high-speed ovals is the test.

There are three Mazda6 GXs competing, Everyone is cautiously optimistic about how things might go during the race, but in fairness this has to be looked at as a 24-hour testing session. Road & Track rode shotgun for a lap in the #00 Visit Florida Racing car, you can check out the sounds of diesel at Daytona in the video below.

Continue reading Mazda6 GX Grand-Am racer goes where no diesel sedan has gone before

Mazda6 GX Grand-Am racer goes where no diesel sedan has gone before originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Jan 2013 19:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar ready to bring diesel to Grand-Am

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 15th, 2013

Filed under: , , , , ,

Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar - live at Detroit Auto Show reveal

It may not be quite as radical as some of the company’s past rotary racers, but the new Mazda6 Skyactiv-D racecar does have a notable powertrain underhood: the automaker’s brand-new clean diesel four-cylinder engine.

Three of these new diesel-powered Mazda6 racers will take to the track in the Grand-Am GX class of the upcoming 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 26, with five drivers on each team. The car you see above, number 70, is sponsored by Mazda’s longtime motorsports partner, SpeedSource.

Check out our full gallery of high-res images live from the 2013 Detroit Auto Show above and feel free to read through the related press release from Mazda below.

Continue reading Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar ready to bring diesel to Grand-Am

Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar ready to bring diesel to Grand-Am originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Jan 2013 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


Mazda6 diesel to race at Rolex 24, team and drivers announced

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 4th, 2013

Filed under: , , , , ,

2014 Mazda5 Daytona 24 Race Car Teaser

2014 Mazda6 teams at the Daytona 24 HoursMazda is getting serious about showing off the Skyactiv-D turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine in the Mazda6. The automaker has just announced it will campaign three diesel Mazda6 racers in the Grand-Am GX class of the upcoming 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona in a quest to walk away with the company’s 24th class win. Mazda partnered with SpeedSource to develop the race version of the new sedan, with Japanese and American engineers lending a helping hand where needed. Meanwhile, Freedom Autosport and Visit Florida Racing/SpeedSource/Yellow Dragon Racing will helm teams of their own.

Each car will make use of a five-driver team for the 24-hour race on January 26. In the interim, you can check out the full press release below for more information as well as the full driver roster. Mazda says we can expect to see the No. 70 SpeedSource car under the lights at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show later this month, as well.

Continue reading Mazda6 diesel to race at Rolex 24, team and drivers announced

Mazda6 diesel to race at Rolex 24, team and drivers announced originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Jan 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink


Tweeter button Facebook button