Friday, February 11, 2011

Mazda 6

The Mazda6 or Mazda 6 (known as the Mazda Atenza in Japan) is a mid-size car produced by the Japanese car manufacturer Mazda since 2002. The Mazda6 has sold over one million units worldwide since its introduction, hitting that sales milestone faster than previous Mazdas. The Mazda6 was the first example of the company's new Stylish, Insightful, and Spirited design philosophy followed by the Mazda2 in December 2002, RX-8 in August 2003, Mazda3 in January 2004, Mazda5 in the summer of 2005, MX-5 in October 2005, and Mazda CX-7 in November 2006. The Mazda6 is the successor of Mazda 626, also known as Mazda Capella and Mazda Cronos. The 2002 Mazda6 is essentially the 4th generation Mazda 626 as the Mazda6 continues on the G-platform, progressing from the GF-platform 626/Capella to the GG-platform Mazda6. The Mazda6 is currently raced in the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GTS class. Mazda finished first in the manufacturer's championship standings. Mazda6 drivers also finished first and second in the Touring Car driver points.

The model lineup consists of a four-door sedan, a five-door liftback and a five-door station wagon, marketed in North America as the "Sport Sedan", "5-Door" and "Sport Wagon", respectively. In Australia, the lineup starts with Limited, available only as a sedan. Then comes the Classic, available in sedan, hatch or wagon. The Luxury model is next available in sedan and hatch versions. Topping the range is the Luxury Sports model, available only as a hatch. In New Zealand the lineup consisted of 2.0L GLX (sedan only), 2.3L GSX (sedan, hatch, and wagon), and the range-topping 2.3L Limited (sedan and hatch). When it arrived in North America, it was first sold as a 2003 model in the United States and as a 2004 model in Canada. In Europe, the luxury sports model was available as a 136 hp (101 kW) direct injection turbodiesel ("DITD") station wagon up until 2007. As of 2008, the European Mazda catalog lists only the "Sport" version of the 146 hp (109 kW) turbodiesel station wagon, while the "Luxury Sport" version has been dropped. Drivetrain combinations include the Mazda MZR engine in configurations of 1.8 L (L8-DE), 2.0 L (LF-VE) and 2.3 L (L3-VE), initially with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission (with sequential-automatic option, dubbed the "Four-Speed Sport AT"). In the US domestic market a 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 engine is also available with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic (with sequential-automatic option, dubbed the "5-Speed Sport AT"). European and Australian versions also feature a four-cylinder turbodiesel that comes with a six-speed manual transmission and produces significantly more torque than the V6 with much improved fuel economy. In North America, the 5-speed automatic optional on the V6 models is replaced by an Aisin 6-speed automatic for 2005 model year. The four-cylinder model receives a Jatco five-speed automatic in the following year. Power is directed to the front wheels in most markets, although full-time all wheel drive models are available in Japan, Europe and Australia. Not all configurations are available in all areas - for example, the Mazda 6 as released in Australia is available in 2.3L four-cylinder guise only, while the 626 which it replaced was available with a choice of four or six-cylinder engines. The MZI V6 engine was only fitted to vehicles manufactured at Flat Rock, Michigan and destined for the US and Canadian domestic markets. Just as before the Mazda 626 was renamed to Mazda6 Atenza, Ford continues to use the Mazda's G-series platform for the basis of a number of its CD3 platform coded vehicles, including the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, Lincoln MKX, and a range of SUVs and minivans. Ford also plans to offer a hybrid powertrain on the platform. The official Mazda chassis codes are GG (sedan/hatch) and GY (wagon) series - following the 626/Capella in its GF/GW series. Mazda's Hofu plants in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan produce the Mazda6 for international markets. In North America, Mazda 6 production is handled at the AutoAlliance International plant which is a joint venture between Ford and Mazda. The first Mazda 6 rolled off this Flat Rock, Michigan assembly line on October 1, 2002, one month after 626 production ended. There are also satellite plants building Mazda 6 models in China and Thailand for their respective local markets. In September 2005, all Australian Mazda 6's received a facelift which included a feature upgrade, 5 speed auto and 6 speed manual transmissions, standard 16" or 17" alloy wheels and minor bodywork upgrades. In China, the Mazda6 is used as the base for the FAW Benteng, also known as Besturn or Hongqi C301, manufactured by the First Automobile Works in Jilin Province.

The 2006 Mazdaspeed Atenza (known as Mazdaspeed6 in North America and Mazda 6 MPS in Europe, South Africa and Australia) is a high-performance version of the Mazda 6. It features a turbocharged version of the 2.3 L MZR I4 which produces 272 PS (200 kW) (European version is detuned to 260 PS (191 kW); the North American version, at 274 hp (204 kW), revised to 270 hp (200 kW) for 2007). All models have 280 lb·ft (380 N·m) of torque. This 2.3 L DISI turbocharged engine features direct fuel injection and conforms to the new Euro 5 emissions standards. It has a revised front fascia with a raised hood, a 6-speed manual transmission, and four-wheel drive. The all wheel drive system uses Mazda's Active Torque Split computer-based control which routes up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels depending on driving conditions. The Mazdaspeed Atenza competed with the Subaru Legacy GT and less directly with the compact Subaru Impreza WRX STi and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Originally scheduled to be launched in June 2005, the Mazdaspeed Atenza was delayed until November. In North America, the Mazdaspeed6 comes in two trim levels; the "Sport" trim with cloth interior and standard key entry and ignition; and the "Grand Touring" trim with leather interior, keyless entry/ignition, and an optional DVD navigation. Automatic climate control is standard, as is a 200 W Bose stereo system featuring seven speakers and a 9 inch subwoofer in addition to an in-dash six-disc CD changer. A sunroof with moonroof feature is optional on the Grand Touring trim. Car and Driver magazine has achieved a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds for this vehicle. The Mazda6 was second place in the 2003 European Car of the Year awards and made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 2003. The Sport Wagon won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Station Wagon award, while the Sport sedan won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Family Car award for 2005. The Atenza Wagon also won What Car?'s Best Estate award in 2004. Also the Mazda6 won the 2003 Semperit Irish Car of the Year. The Mazda6 won the 'Best Mid-size Car (over $28,000)' title in Australia's Best Cars in 2002 and 2003. It came second in 2004, behind the Subaru Liberty, and fifth in 2005 (the Honda Accord Euro was first in 2005). Wheels magazine also awarded the Mazda6 winner of its Active Safety Program in July 2005. In December 2007 in Australia the Mazda6 won the Carsales Peoples Choice award for its class. The Mazda 6 was praised for its edgy handsome design, communicative steering and tight suspension. However, as it was designed as a world car in order to fit the needs of Europe and Japan, it was smaller than its North American contemporaries in the midsize segment, being criticized for its reduced passenger space. Its acceleration, particularly the V6 engine models, lagged behind that of its rivals as well. As one of the few midsize vehicles to offer a wagon and hatchback, these models retained the good driving characteristics of the sedan while providing additional cargo versatility. The hatchback's liftback/notchback styling was considered a clever design to disguise it as a four-door sedan, as North Americans generally considered trunks more elegant than hatches. The wagon had an early demise but the hatchback was somewhat successful in Canada, especially in Qu├ębec, though it would not have a 2009 refresh, as both models were unpopular in the US.

The Mazda6 second generation made its premiere at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show in September. The new Mazda6 is based on the Mazda GH chassis platform, a revised version of the GG chassis which Ford also still uses as their CD3 platform. Mazda continues to provide three body styles, including 4-door saloon (sedan), 5-door hatchback and wagon. A number of journalists have already praised its electrically assisted steering for being considerably improved compared to the last generation, providing more feedback to the driver. The hatchback model even has a trunk space which beats the larger rival Ford Mondeo/Opel Insignia (hatchback) by 200 liters with rear seats folded down. This model of the Mazda6 was awarded 2010 Family Car of the Year by What Car? magazine. The North American version was redesigned for the 2009 model year. It is a widened and lengthened version of the model sold elsewhere, with larger engines. Reviewers have noted its coupe-like roofline and sportier style. North American engine choices include a new 2.5 liter 4-cylinder and North American versions get the 3.7 liter V6 which is also available in the Mazda CX-9. Motortrend recorded a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.1 seconds for the Mazda 6 V6. For the North American market, only a sedan model will be available. A Mazdaspeed 6 variant has not been announced. Despite the North American version's increase in dimensions, Mazda maintains that the 6 retains the overall driving experience is still sportier than rivaling Accords, Camrys, or Malibus. Early reviews have been favorable. At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Mazda was pleased to show their new 2011 Mazda6. The United States are supposed to get theirs later this year or next year. In Road&Track magazine they added "The Mazda6 sedan gets a minor makeover with new headlights, foglights and 17-in. alloy wheels. Inside there are new cloth seat materials, a new steering wheel and door armrests, and a rearview camera now comes standard on Grand Touring models." And Mazda has confirmed that it will also happen on all 2011 models. Touring Car class. In 2009, they finished 2nd in the manufacturer's championship with 65 points, behind Acura. In 2007, Mazda won its first manufacturers championship in the class. The Mazda 6 is also used in the KONI Challenge Series Sport Touring class. It is currently used by the Baglieracing team with Dennis Baglier, Chris Gleason, and Marty Luffy as drivers.

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