Mazda counts on styling to turn heads toward next Mazda6
LOS ANGELES -- The photos Mazda released of the third-generation Mazda6 last week -- ahead of its global debut at the Moscow auto show next month -- show bulging front fenders, a sharply creased hood and a wide-mouth grille.
Indeed, the "five-point grille" will be applied to all of Mazda's vehicles when they are redesigned.
Mazda is counting on styling to help the redesigned Mazda6 get noticed in the brutal mid-sized sedan wars. The segment is soon to be filled with redesigned entries sporting new looks, including the Aston Martin-esque Ford Fusion, the swoopy Nissan Altima and the evolutionary Honda Accord.
The Mazda6 was previewed by the Takeri concept car at the New York auto show in April. The production version sports many elements on the concept that turned heads, including the chrome brightwork accenting the grille's lower outline.
The 2014 Mazda6 will be the second vehicle to adopt the company's new design language, called kodo, Japanese for "soul of motion." Styling cues such as the grille, the car's cab-rearward proportions and muscular fenders are also seen on the Mazda CX-5 crossover that went on sale in April.
The current Mazda6 has been a disappointment, with annual U.S. sales hovering at about half of the 75,000-unit target set before its 2008 launch. Still, sales during the first half of this year rose 63 percent to 25,369.
Production begins at Mazda's plant in Hofu, Japan, next month. The vehicle goes on sale in the United States in early 2013.
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