Mazda beefs up 2014 Mazda6 with more dynamic 'soul of motion'
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LOS ANGELES -- Bulging front fenders, a sharply creased hood and wide-mouth grille give the next Mazda6 a more dynamic look than the current generation's hum drum styling.
The 2014 Mazda6 will be the second Mazda vehicle to adopt the company's new design language, called "kodo," Japanese for "soul of motion." The sedan's grille -- which Mazda calls the "five-point grille" will be applied to all of Mazda's next-generation vehicles when they are redesigned.
Styling cues such as the grille, the car's cab-rearward proportions and muscular fenders can also be found on the Mazda CX-5 crossover that went on sale in April, the first Mazda product to feature the brand's "kodo" styling.
Mazda is banking on the styling to win the redesigned Mazda6 attention in the brutal mid-size sedan segment that's soon to be filled with redesigned entries sporting new looks, including the Aston Martin-esque Ford Fusion, swoopy Nissan Altima and evolutionary Honda Accord.
Early today, Mazda released photographs of the third-generation Mazda6 in full-production sheet metal ahead of the vehicle's global debut next month at the Moscow auto show. (For the full photo gallery, click here).
A source with knowledge of Mazda's product plans said the U.S.-market Mazda6 will get a 2.5-liter, direct injection four cylinder engine paired to a six-speed manual transmission as its base powertrain. The Russian-market Mazda6 gets a base, 2.0-liter direct injection engine, according to Mazda's announcement.
Mazda executives have said they're targeting best in class fuel economy figures for the 2014 Mazda6. The segment-leading 2013 Nissan Altima gets 38 mpg on the highway.
Helping to achieve that goal is a new regenerative braking system on the Mazda6. Called "i-ELOOP," the system converts kinetic energy created during braking into electricity stored in a capacitor. The capacitor powers the car's fuel pump, lights, audio, air conditioning and transmission and engine control systems, reducing the electricity demand on the car's alternator which Mazda says can boost fuel economy by up to 10 percent.
The current Mazda6 has been a disappointment, with annual U.S. sales consistently hovering at about half of the 75,000-unit annual target set before its 2008 launch. Still, sales during the first half of this year rose 63 percent to 25,369, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Production of the Mazda6 begins at Mazda's plant in Hofu, Japan, next month. The vehicle goes on sale stateside in early 2013.
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