Here’s how we’d do it

Motor (Australia) - - SWEET DREAM -

SCOR­ING A BOOST

Thank­fully, you don’t have to look far in the Mazda fam­ily for a suit­able en­gine. The 2.5-litre tur­bocharged four-pot in the

CX-9 is al­ready a strong, will­ing per­former so with a bit of tweak­ing to lift out­puts from 170kW/420Nm to 220kW/450Nm, it’s a no-brainer.

AU­TO­MATIC CHOICE

Sorry, hard­core en­thu­si­asts, but it’s six-speed auto only for the 6 MPS, but that will at least make reel­ing off 0-100km/h in 5.0sec a piece of cake and Mazda’s SkyActiv-Drive is one of the snap­pier-shift­ing au­tos around. All-wheel drive is a must – for­tu­nately the all-paw ar­chi­tec­ture ex­ists in mod­els sold over­seas. And in right-hand drive.

GET SHORTY

Ev­ery­day use­abil­ity and cost con­tain­ment is the name of the game here, so 19-inch wheels re­main with a more per­for­mance­fo­cused tyre, bet­ter brake pads and a pas­sive sus­pen­sion setup that of­fers equal parts com­pli­ance and body con­trol rather than stiff, ra­zor-sharp re­sponses. The wagon cho­sen not just be­cause fast wag­ons are cool, but be­cause the 80mm shorter wheel­base de­liv­ers bet­ter han­dling than the sedan.

WEIGHTY IS­SUE

The pri­mary en­emy of the 6 MPS’s per­for­mance as­pi­ra­tions will be weight. The base sedan is a rea­son­able 1462kg but this climbs to 1594kg for the top-spec wagon. Add all-wheel drive and a turbo and this could bal­loon to­wards 1700kg. Weight will need to saved and dis­trib­uted care­fully.

KEEP IT REAL

Price is also tricky, with the cur­rent 6 range top­ping out at al­most

$50K. To be com­pet­i­tive with the likes of the VW Pas­sat 206TSI and VW Golf R wag­ons we’d aim for a fully loaded $55,000 sticker price to take the fight to the Ger­mans.

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