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Moscow show: Early debut for Mazda6

Red alert: The next Mazda6 will debut at the Moscow motor show at the end of August.

Mazda announces sooner than expected August debut for next-generation Mazda6

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Mazda logo25 Jul 2012

By DAVID HASSALL

MAZDA today announced that the new-generation Mazda6 will make its global debut earlier than expected, at the Moscow motor show on August 29.

The highly anticipated mid-size sedan had been expected to be one of the star unveilings at the Paris motor show in late September.

Mazda also released the first official photos of the car, apparently in response to the leak overnight from Russia of the ‘hero’ shot of the car.

The photos reveal the car’s front and rear styling to be elegant and largely true to the spirit of the Takeri concept car on which the new car is based.

The third-generation Mazda6 is expected to be launched in Australia in the first quarter of next year.

The photos confirm that the production Mazda6 will feature pronounced front wheelarches flowing back from slim headlights with BMW-style LED ‘halo’ daytime-running lights.

A slim chrome strip defines the lower edge of the modern Mazda-style ‘smiling’ grille – a distinctive element of the company’s new Kodo design language that debuted on the CX-5 – and this chrome strip extends into the headlights.

As indicated in teaser videos previously issued by Mazda, the grille is slightly slimmer and consequently less jarring in appearance than on the Takeri.

Mechanically, the Mazda6 will follow the lead of the CX-5 and make full use of Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv technologies, including lightweight construction, efficient petrol and diesel engines with idle-stop system, and a specially designed six-speed automatic transmission.

It will also introduce the company’s new brake energy regeneration system, called i-ELOOP, which Mazda says marks stage two of its “Building Block Strategy for environmental technology development”.

“The strategy calls for the completion of thorough and far-reaching improvements in traditional automotive technologies, before moving to the step-by-step introduction of electric devices to further improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions,” Mazda said in a statement.

The car to be shown at the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2012, which is open to the public from August 31 to September 9, will be a Russian-specification model powered by a direct-injection SkyActiv 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Russia is Mazda’s biggest market in Europe.

The most economical model globally will be powered by Mazda’s 2.2-litre low-compression turbo-diesel engine, linked with the six-speed auto to deliver fuel consumption of 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres – a whole litre less than the Australian-built, petrol-electric Camry Hybrid.

As a full global car that will replace both the wide-bodied North American Mazda6 and the smaller version sold in Australia, Japan and Europe, the Mazda6 will grow, though not as much as the Takeri, which was 115mm longer and 75mm wider than the current Australian-market Mazda6.

It is likely to ride on a 50mm-longer wheelbase rather than the 103mm-longer Takeri.

Also due to the global nature of the program – and Mazda’s stretched engineering budget – the hatchback variant that is popular in Australia and Europe is expected to be dropped, leaving only sedan and wagon models.

“To create the new Mazda6, Mazda’s engineers and designers utilised their best technical expertise and craftsmanship across all aspects of the car, from dynamic performance and design, through to environmental performance and safety,” says Mazda.

“New Mazda6 will stand as the flagship model for a new generation of Mazda products.

“It features a sense of dignity, style, luxury feel and comfort expected from a vehicle in the CD segment, while offering the pleasure of responsive and agile driving, which is at the core of the Mazda brand.”

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