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First look: Mazda hits another Six

Rare medium: The Takeri concept - to be shown at next month's Tokyo show - previews the next Mazda6.

Next-gen Mazda6 emerges in concept guise ahead of next month’s Tokyo show

Mazda logo25 Oct 2011

MAZDA’S next Six will be as bold as it is efficient, if these first official images of the all-new Takeri concept are any indication.

Revealed more than a month ahead of its global debut at the Tokyo motor show on November 30, Mazda describes the sleek Takeri sedan as a “next-generation mid-size sedan concept car”.

That can only mean one thing: the Takeri previews the look of the all-new Mazda6 sedan due on sale globally by 2013.

“I can’t confirm the Takeri is the next Mazda6,” said Mazda Australia spokesman Steve Maciver, “but it is definitely a hint at what our next-generation C/D-segment sedan will look like.”

Taking obvious styling cues from Mazda’s striking Shinari concept, the Takeri is even more faithful to Mazda’s new ‘Kodo’ design language than the first production car to wear it, the CX-5, which will make its Japanese debut in Tokyo.

In fact, although it features a more production-ready front end with larger headlights, the Takeri is almost a dead-ringer for the Shinari – right down to its low-slung long-bonnet profile and even its big alloy wheels.

Naturally, show car razzamatazz like the camera-equipped wing mirrors will not reach production, but what you are looking at is essentially the car with which Mazda will battle D-segment medium sedan giants like the Toyota Camry and Ford Mondeo within two years.

While no technical details have been released for the Takeri, Mazda says it will feature the full array of SkyActiv body, chassis and powertrain technologies, including Mazda’s cracking new SkyActiv-D clean-diesel engine.

22 center imageHowever, the Takeri – and therefore Mazda6 – goes one step further than the CX-5, which itself features a fuel-saving idle-stop system, by adding regenerative braking technology in the next step of Mazda’s ‘building block’ efficiency strategy.

That will make it even more frugal than the heavier CX-5, which is expected to be among Australia’s top-selling compact SUVs when it arrives here early next year.

The same new 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel in the CX-5 produces 129kW of power and 420Nm of torque from 2000rpm, while returning fuel consumption of just 4.5L/100km and CO2 emissions of 120g/km in base European-spec front-wheel drive manual form.

Indeed, Mazda has previously stated that its next-generation mid-size model will return as little as 4.2L/100km, making it almost as efficient as Toyota’s smaller hybrid icon, the Prius.

Like the CX-5 – but unlike the existing Mazda6 – diesel power will be available with an automatic transmission, in this case the all-new SkyActiv-D six-speed self-shifter.

Also like the CX-5, expect the next Six to come with top-end driving aid technologies such as Rear Vehicle Monitoring (RVM), Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), High-Beam Control (HBC) and Lane Departure Warning.

While the Takeri previews the redesigned Mazda6 sedan due in local showrooms in 2013, the same 100kg-lighter SkyActiv chassis will also underpin new-generation Mazda6 hatch and wagon models.

The Takeri’s world premiere will take place just days before the redesigned Camry rolls into Australian showrooms.

The all-new version of Toyota’s Melbourne-made Camry replaces a model that has dominated the local mainstream medium vehicle segment for years.

However, just as the Camry’s local market dominance has slipped to a 32.5 per cent share to date in 2011, the Mazda6 has slipped to a 9.5 per cent share and been relegated to third in the segment by Ford’s facelifted Mondeo at 12.2 per cent.

Before the new Mazda6 arrives, the Camry will be joined here early next year by Holden’s all-new Malibu mid-sizer, in a segment that has recently been bolstered by Hyundai’s all-new i40 Tourer, Volkswagen’s Passat, Peugeot’s 508 and Renault’s Latitude.

“The Mazda Takeri exploits Mazda’s new design language, ‘Kodo – Soul of Motion’, to bring a new level of strength and allure to sedan styling,” said Mazda.

“The Takeri features the full array of SkyActiv technology, including the efficient and powerful new SkyActiv-D clean diesel engine, to deliver vigorous performance and a comfortable ride desired in a sedan.

“The combination of SkyActiv technology and electric devices – such as Mazda’s idling stop system, i-stop, and a new regenerative braking system – enable the Mazda Takeri to achieve excellent fuel economy.”

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