Unlike the outgoing Mazda6, which in U.S. trim was built at a Ford plant in Michigan, the new 2014 model will be built exclusively at the Hofu plant in Japan. It will be introduced in Europe and Japan before the end of the year, followed by other markets starting with the U.S. early next.
Mazda says it expects to build up to 120,000 units annually, and given the excitement so far we suspect the automaker will be able to achieve that goal. So far only the sedan has been confirmed for sale in the U.S., though given the stylish look of this new wagon we hope it comes here too. Mazda is yet to announce whether it plans to build any other bodystyles--you may recall that a hatch version of the outgoing model was offered overseas.
The new Mazda6 is the first model to be equipped with Mazda's unique brake energy regeneration system, i-ELOOP. Essentially a mild-hybrid system that uses lightweight capacitors to store electrical energy recovered from braking (instead of batteries), the i-ELOOP system takes some of the load off the car’s engine by using this stored energy to power ancillary features such as the air conditioning, audio system and lights.
Mazda says that i-ELOOP can improve fuel economy by up to ten percent in stop-and-go driving, and when combined with other fuel-saving technologies like lighter body construction and SKYACTIV drivetrain components, the new Mazda6 could certainly end up being one of the most fuel-efficient models in its class.
In its European spec, the Mazda6 is being shown with a 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine and six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission. It's been suggested by several sources that U.S. models will bow with a 2.5-liter version of the new engine and eventually hybrid and diesel options, though Mazda is remaining very tight-lipped on the matter.
Stay tuned for more details following the 2014 Mazda Mazda6's debut in Moscow on the 29th of this month.
2014 Mazda MAZDA6 (European spec)