The shape of 6 to come

This fam­ily car will sell on looks alone

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

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.

Paul Pot­tinger

Purely svel­ter: The next Mazda6 has no hatch vari­ant but the sedan doesn’t lack in the style stakes

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