Mazda moves up to be ‘refined’
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The 2018 Mazda6 sedan promises a more supple ride, greater agility and more refinement, the company says.
Unveiled this week at the Los Angeles Motor Show, it could go on sale here next year.
Mazda says the new model elevates the Mazda6 “from its competitive set into a higher class . . . to deliver a refined experience befitting of a far more expensive car”.
Some models will be powered by Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5T petrol turbo engine, that Mazda says produces torque on part with a 4-litre V8 engine.
“These latest upgrades will launch Mazda6 above the mainstream sedan fray, changing the idea of what an affordable midsize sedan can and should be,” the company says.
The new grille accentuates a look of depth and a low centre of gravity and wide stance of the model, while LED headlights integrate fog lamps, and new 17- and 19-inch wheel designs are introduced.
Inside, a new horizontally stretched dashboard accentuates the Mazda6’s width, while the front seats are wider, with high-density, vibration-absorbing urethane foam, which is said to create a firm, supportive seating surface.
Other innovations on the new models include a 360-degree view monitor, and a radar cruise control system with stop-and-go functions that will be standard across the range along with lane-keep assist, traffic-signal recognition and intelligent speed-assist functions. There will also be a windshield active driving display heads-up unit.
Mazda6 offers three powertrain options, starting with the torquey, fuel-efficient Skyactiv-G 2.5 naturally aspirated engine.
Its 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine comes with upgrades aimed at reducing internal friction and improve efficiency across all rpm, while also adding a greater level of refinement.
Cylinder deactivation in a four-cylinder engine, enables the outside two cylinders to shut down when the vehicle is operating at steady speeds between 40 and 80km/h, but all four cylinders work when needed for maximum performance.
Mazda says a centrifugal pendulum has been adopted in the torque converter of the six-speed Skyactiv-drive automatic transmission, counterbalancing any vibration that might otherwise be felt when running on two cylinders.
The result is smooth switchover between two and four-cylinder modes, yet with tangible efficiency benefits.
Some Mazda6 models could feature the turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine as standard.
First available in the current generation Mazda CX-9 large SUV, the Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine produces 420Nm of torque from just 2000rpm and 170 kW of torque.
Mazda’s industry-first Dynamic Pressure Turbo builds boost nearly instantaneously by using a small inlet port to force air into its turbocharger, akin to how water velocity increases when one holds a thumb over a hose.
From there, a secondary valve can open up at higher RPM for increased airflow and maximum horsepower.