The all-new Mazda 6 will premiere with the 2.0 SkyActiv-G, a punchy 155 horsepower mill that combines great economy and good power in a small, lightweight package. This SkyActiv engine achieves this thanks to a very high 14:1 compression ratio and low-friction internals. Normally, these traits would make for an octane-sensitive motor with toxic emissions, but Mazda sidesteps these problems through the use of direct injection, cooled exhaust gas recirculation, and tuned exhaust scavenging. This clever engineering also allows it to run on regular octane pump gas, not something you’d normally do with such a high compression motor.
Of course, the motor is only part of the story. It will be mated to a low-friction six-speed manual transmission, i-ELoop regenerative braking (used to power accessories and take alternator load off the engine), and an ultra-lightweight body. Where the 2nd generation car brought the Mazda 6 from bantam-weight to right up there with the big boys, the new car scales things back. The base all-new Mazda 6 is projected to weigh in at around 1,342 kilograms, around a hundred kilograms less than the previous Mazda 6, which was already much lighter than the typical midsize sedan.
Despite weighing less than a fully loaded compact, the all-new Mazda 6 boasts more interior space than before, a theme carried over from the surprisingly roomy CX-5. While we only have Mazda’s word for this, our experience with the CX-5 gives us high hopes. Based on our experience with the 2.0 CX-5, we expect highway economy in the 20 km/l range and excellent driving dynamics. Here’s to hoping those dynamics are more like the frisky and frenetic first generation Mazda 6 and less like the suave, germanic second generation car.
There’s no word on when the all-new Mazda 6 will get here, and no guarantee it can succeed in a market where non-Camry midsizers sell about as well as Porsche 911s. But for the Mazda faithful, this is one car that’s sure worth waiting for.