How do you make a car with a 111-inch wheelbase maintain a small and sporty profile? You’re about to find out, now that the 2014 Mazda6 sedan has finally made its official debut at the Moscow International Automobile Salon.
Mazda designers shortened both the front and rear overhangs, and added plenty of muscle wherever they could in order to make the new Mazda6 appear more athletic than enormous. They moved the front wheels forward by four inches, added 19-inch alloy wheels and drew the Mazda6 to look right at home on a racetrack.
Their efforts worked, because the first thing you notice about the new mid-sized sedan is the exciting bodywork and bold – “tempered aggression,” in Mazda’s words – front fascia. Based on the 2011 TAKERI Concept, the 2014 Mazda6 sports a sharp chrome-lined grille that extends through the LED headlights with fog lamps and a front splitter that resembles the new Mercedes-Benz CLS. This is great company to be in, design-wise, especially for a modest sedan that will retail starting under $25,000. Mazda worked from their “Soul of Motion” design philosophy and we hope to see it on future models, because it definitely works.
That doesn’t mean the Mazda6 isn’t gargantuan, because it is. The Audi-like front grille alone is large enough to swallow children. Mazda wanted to provide a more comfortable ride and greater interior space, and a longer wheelbase is a quick way to achieve that. So they went ahead and built a Starship Enterprise for the road.
But in nearly every other area, the Mazda6 is built for performance. The chassis is constructed from ultra-high tensile steel, which is so strong that Mazda is able to use less of it and therefore save weight. Rigidity is increased by 30-percent over the previous model, and a suspension with finely tuned front struts and rear multi-link system provides sharp handling at high speed.
Will you be taking your Mazda6 to the racetrack, though? Probably not. For the majority of drivers, that same suspension provides a smooth and comfortable ride on the larger platform. The underbody design is newly designed to optimally direct airflow, contributing to the car’s miniscule 0.26 drag efficient, which is sure to improve fuel economy once those figures are available. The Mazda6 gets a further eco-friendly boost from the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. If we were making the decisions, regen would be available on all new cars these days – maybe one day! – so kudos to Mazda for embracing this technology.
You’ll notice that we haven’t discussed engines yet. Mazda will announce the engine options for the U.S. market in the months leading up to its stateside arrival in early 2013, but we know that Russia will get the 2.0L and 2.5L SKYACTIV four-cylinders. Now that we know exactly what the car will look like, stay tuned for more updates about what it will pack under the hood. If we know Mazda, they won’t disappoint.
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