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Tokyo show: Takeri previews next Mazda6

On show: Mazda has revealed full technical details of its Takeri concept, which previews the next-generation Mazda6.

Mazda reveals full details and images of its sleek new Mazda6-teasing Takeri concept

Mazda logo30 Nov 2011

By MARTON PETTENDY

MAZDA has provided more vital clues to the visual and mechanical make-up of its next-generation mid-size sedan by revealing full technical details and images of its striking new Takeri concept, which made its global debut today in Tokyo.

The Japanese brand last week revealed details of the ground-breaking new capacitor-based regenerative braking system that is fitted to the Takeri – and by inference the redesigned 2013 Mazda6.

Realising fuel consumption reductions of up to 10 per cent in stop/start city traffic, i-ELOOP constitutes the next stage in Mazda’s ‘building block’ fuel-efficiency strategy, which began with all-new SkyActiv chassis, engine and transmission technologies that come together for the first time in the all-new CX-5 compact SUV, due here early next year.

Takeri previews the sleek new ‘Kodo’ design language to be worn by the next Mazda6, which is due on sale globally by 2013, as well as SkyActiv chassis and powertrain technology that goes even further than in the CX-5.

The concept rides on a 2830mm wheelbase (103mm longer than the existing Mazda6) and measures 4850mm long (up 115mm), 1870mm wide (up 75mm) and 1430mm high (down 10mm).

Like the Mazda6 development mule we drove in Berlin and Melbourne earlier this year, the front-wheel-drive Takeri sedan combines Mazda’s new twin-stage turbocharged 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D four-cylinder diesel engine with a new six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission and i-stop system, as seen in the upcoming CX-5.

22 center imageAlso like the CX-5, it rides on MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems and features an electric power steering system, but adds show-stopping 20x9.5-inch alloy wheels with 245/40-section Bridgestone tyres.

However, Takeri also adds the company’s ground-breaking new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, which along with an expected 100kg weight reduction will play a key role in reducing the next Mazda6’s fuel consumption to about 4.2L/100km.

As we’ve reported, the new SkyActiv-D diesel seen in the CX-5 and Takeri is claimed to meet all upcoming global emissions standards (Euro6 in Europe, Tier2Bin5 in North America and the Post New Long-Term Regulations in Japan), without expensive NOx after-treatment, like urea-selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or a Lean NOx Trap (LNT).

It does so by featuring the world’s lowest diesel-engine compression ratio of 14.0:1, which is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by 20 per cent, yet a new two-stage turbo is said to deliver smooth, linear response at all engine speeds while increasing torque output all the way to its 5200rpm rev limit.

Wrapped in a stunning four-door bodyshell that features the company’s new front signature ‘wings’ and borrows heavily from Mazda’s Kodo-debuting Shinari concept, Mazda says Takeri creates “a sense of coiled animal power stored and ready to explode into rapid motion”.

As with the Shinari, it features wraparound front wheelarches sculpted to look like a cheetah’s shoulder “as it uses its front paws to grip the ground and quickly change direction”, plus a rear bumper line that resembles the same animal’s hips as it kicks off to run.

Inside, the four-seater mixes high-quality materials with a driver-focussed cockpit to offer both functionality and a stylish sense of speed, aided by a feature line that extends – Jaguar XJ-style – from above the dashboard to the door trims.

Apart from outstanding efficiency, the replacement for Mazda’s largest passenger car will come with at least the same array of passive and active safety features as the upcoming CX-5, including lane departure warning, adaptive front lighting, rear vehicle monitoring, emergency signal system and Smart City Brake Support, which can brake the vehicle between 4-30km/h when a radar sensor detects an imminent collision.

“Mazda Takeri sits at the heart of Mazda’s new beginnings, pointing the way for a new-generation CD sedan with regard to design, driving pleasure and environmental performance,” said Mazda Motor Corporation chairman and CEO Takashi Yamanouchi.

“By creating an ongoing series of fresh and innovative products, we have taken our first steps as the new Mazda. We invite you to look to us with high expectations as we take a fresh approach to all aspects of car-building, innovating new levels of driving pleasure and environmental and safety performance for all our customers.”

Mazda’s next Six will follow a flurry of redesigned mid-size model launches in Australia, including this year’s all-new Hyundai i40, facelifted Ford Mondeo, new Peugeot 508 and new Renault Latitude, next month’s new Toyota Camry and next year’s Epica-replacing Holden Malibu.

Mazda Australia this month effectively increased the entry price of its current Mazda6 model range by $4140, when it discontinued the entry-level Limited sedan (previously priced from $27,310 plus on-road costs) and Classic wagon models as part of a revised and upgraded mid-size sedan, hatch and wagon range.

Now opening at $31,450, the four-year-old Mazda6 line-up – which was launched here in February 2008 before being facelifted in March 2010 – has so far this year attracted 30 per cent fewer sales, slipping to third overall with a 9.5 per cent share of the mainstream mid-size segment behind the Camry (34.5 per cent) and Mondeo (11.5 per cent).

Mazda’s first (62kW/112Nm 1.3-litre petrol) SkyActiv engine appeared earlier this year in the Japanese domestic market’s facelifted Mazda2 but is yet to be offered in Australia, while the second (this time a 113kW/194Nm 2.0-litre petrol four) debuted here in October in the facelifted Mazda3 SP20 SkyActiv, which also gains a fuel-saving idle-stop function.

Mazda says petrol-electric and hydrogen-electric hybrids will be the next stage in its drive to reduce its fleet-average fuel consumption down by 30 per cent between 2008 and 2015, by which time it expects 80 per cent of its passenger models to incorporate SkyActiv technology.

It has committed to releasing its first hybrid model – fitted with a hybrid drive system from Toyota – in Japan by 2013, before plug-in hybrids and then full-electric models emerge as the final stage in Mazda’s efficiency drive.

Mazda has revealed it will commence leasing a battery-electric model based on Japan’s Demio (Mazda2) to local governments and corporate customers in its domestic market next year.

Most notably, the Mazda2 EV is claimed to offer a zero-exhaust-emissions driving range of at least 200km – more than any EV currently available, including Mitsubishi’s pioneering i-MiEV and Nissan’s upcoming Leaf, which offers 160km.

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