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Mazda6: Mazda’s Path to Premium
Cosmo. Luce. Millenia. CX-9 Signature. Mazda6.
These are but a small sample of the Mazda vehicles from the past 50 years that have embodied “Mazda Premium,” a set of guiding principles that complements the automaker’s human-centric design and engineering. Mazda uses these principles to build cars and crossover SUVs that compete in a class above, at a price that is readily affordable, offering a depth of engagement with its owner that satisfies at every touch point. With vehicles like these, it is Mazda’s goal to enrich people’s lives through a car ownership experience that celebrates driving, and to become a brand with which customers feel a strong emotional connection.
The re-engineered Mazda6 certainly delivers all of the above, elevating Mazda6 from its traditional competitive set into a higher class, with unparalleled craftsmanship, design and technologies for the driver who savors every moment behind the wheel. Yet, Mazda6 is also serene, thoroughly reworked underneath its sheet metal to deliver a refined experience befitting of a far more expensive car.
A Signature Path Forward
The 2016 Mazda CX-9 three-row crossover SUV was a remarkable step for Mazda. It once again elevated Mazda, showing if Mazda built an SUV with superior driving dynamics, class-above refinement, an abundance of amenities, technology and a strong engine, customers would come. After more than a year since going on sale, approximately 55 percent of all Mazda CX-9 crossover SUVs sold in the U.S. have been either high-level Grand Touring models or top-trim Signature models—an unusually high number.
The Signature trim level has been well received, selling more than twice as well as expected, and attracting customers who are trading up from traditional luxury brands.
It was natural, then, that Mazda would follow this plan with its flagship sedan. Mazda6 has received improvements every year it has been on sale. Updates for the previous model year added more sound insulation throughout its cabin and available Nappa leather interior appointments. Mazda6 also received standard G-Vectoring Control, a Mazda-exclusive technology that makes steering response more direct and linear by using a minute reduction of engine torque at turn-in to put extra weight on the front tires.
But simply adding Nappa leather and some new technologies does not a Signature model make.
Thus, Mazda6’s chassis has also been thoroughly revised to provide a more supple ride, greater agility and dramatically improved NVH. Mazda6’s Signature interior features authentic materials—brown Nappa leather whose color is inspired by the aged wood in ancient Japanese temples; UltraSuede® NU that is adorned with a subtle gold tint, using a similar technique to that which is used to make ornate kimonos; and Sen wood accents, a type of wood often used in taiko drums and Japanese furniture.
Perhaps the greatest upgrade of Mazda6 Signature is its source of motivation. Mazda’s award-winning, SKYACTIV-G 2.5T gasoline turbo engine returns for its second application. The SKYACTIV-G 2.5T is an engine renowned for its nearly instantaneous, ample torque, courtesy of its Dynamic Pressure Turbo, which accelerates exhaust gasses through a tiny inlet to quickly spool up its turbocharger at low RPM before opening a larger secondary passage to use throughout the engine’s operational range. The engine produces torque on par with a 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Mazda6 was already a class favorite among discerning drivers. These latest upgrades will launch Mazda6 above the mainstream sedan fray, changing the idea of what an affordable midsize sedan can and should be.
‘Mature Elegance’: A Design Vision
Mazda’s striking VISION COUPE concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show portended a revitalized focus on elegance. Mazda6 carries a similar theme, called “Mature Elegance,” creating an added level of sophistication to Mazda’s KODO—Soul of Motion design language that complements its aspirational ambitions.
Up front is Mazda6’s new grille, which accentuates a look of depth, with a strong framework, low center of gravity and wide stance. Its standard LED headlights integrate fog lamps and carry a crisp, wide lighting signature. Painted surfaces extend lower on the body, and new 17- and 19-inch wheel designs complement the upgraded appearance. Finally, Soul Red Crystal paint makes its debut on Mazda’s sedan, joining Machine Gray Metallic and a full palette of available paint colors.
Inside, the interior is all-new, with only the steering wheel and small trim pieces carried over from its predecessor. Most noticeable is its horizontally stretched dashboard that accentuates Mazda6’s width and belies a sense of subtle sophistication. On Mazda6 Signature models, Sen wood, Nappa leather and UltraSuede® NU adorn the doors, seats and dashboard, providing an atmosphere that can coddle on Rodeo Drive just as easily as it can enliven spirited drives on Mulholland.