The shape of 6 to come
This family car will sell on looks alone
MEET the coolest mid-size car since, well . . . the first Mazda6. Unveiled this week at the Moscow motor show, the thirdgeneration Mazda6 could prove as bracing a tonic as its forebear. Then as now, the 6’s segment was dominated by staid middle class cardigan cars.
Now, just as in 2002, this sleek and boldly creased design might energise a segment known for technical excellence but visual narcolepsy.
Chief designer Akira Tamatani blazes on in the typically heightened language of Mazda car shapers (‘‘animalistic tenacity’’, ‘‘ predator crouched to strike’’, ‘‘ wild and dynamic’’) but it’s difficult to disagree with him that ‘‘ simply looking at the car heightens one’s expectations about the driving experience’’.
We’re on fairly safe ground here, given the outgoing 6 remains dynamically to the fore of its class, as close as its possible to get to the essence of the MX-5 in a front-wheeldrive family car. Then there are the Skyactiv engines and chassis from the best-selling CX-5, which is generally agreed as being the best-handling compact SUV to be had.
The new Mazda6 gets here early next year in sedan and wagon form, the lines of the former going some way to address the disappointment that there’ll be no hatch, always the best-selling shape in Australia.
At 2.5 litres the newest petrol engine available is bigger than the Skyactiv engine from the Mazda3 and CX-5 and puts out 141kW/210Nm. No details were given for the turbo diesel, though there’s no doubt this will be the formidable 2.2-litre oiler from the CX-5, good for 129kW/420Nm.
The 6 has grown to just about big Aussie family car dimensions— 4.8m long, 1.8m wide and almost 1.5m high.
Maximum weight for the petrol models is 1410kg, so the promise of those svelte lines won’t be encumbered by interior lard.
Purely svelter: The next Mazda6 has no hatch variant but the sedan doesn’t lack in the style stakes