Just a month before the third-generation Mazda6’s global debut at the upcoming Moscow auto show, Mazda Motor Corp. unveiled images of the vehicle in full-production sheet metal. Third-generation Mazda6 received a redesign to enable the carmaker to compete more fiercely in the key midsize sedan segment.
The redesigned 2014 Mazda6 is due to be rolled out early next year, and is targeted to compete against other redesigned vehicles in the segment like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. A source privy to Mazda's product plans told Automotive News that the U.S.-bound Mazda6 will be powered by a 2.5-liter, direct injection four-cylinder engine connected to a six-speed manual transmission.
The Russia-bound Mazda6, meanwhile, will be powered by a base 2.0-liter direct injection engine. Mazda executives have disclosed they plan to endow the 2014 Mazda6 with the best-in-class fuel economy figures. The current class leader in terms of fuel economy is the 2013 Nissan Altima, which returns 38 mpg on the highway.
To achieve the fuel economy goals, Mazda plans to install on the Mazda6 its new regenerative braking system called "i-ELOOP." The i-ELOOP system converts kinetic energy produced during braking into electricity that is then stored in a capacitor, which in turn powers the car's fuel pump, lights, audio, air conditioning and transmission and engine control systems.
The current Mazda6 is considered a disappointment for Mazda, with annual U.S. sales just at about half of the 75,000-unit yearly target set before its launch in 2008. According to Automotive News Data Center, Mazda posted a 63-percent increase in sales for its Mazda6 sedan to 25,369. Mazda plans to commence production of the new Mazda6 in August at its Hofu plant in Japan.