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Auto blogThu, 30 May 2013 11:57:00 EST
An Extended Stay With The Sexy Six
The new-for-2014 Mazda6 sedan is more than just a pretty face. For Mazda, it marks the company's best effort yet at competing in the highly competitive midsize sedan segment, all the while staying true to the brand's core value of offering high levels of driver involvement above all. We certainly came away impressed after our first drive of the sleek Six in France last fall, and we knew right from the start that this would be a car we'd want to spend a lot of time with back here at home.
So with that in mind, the folks at Mazda graciously agreed to loan us the fully loaded Soul Red tester you see here for a one-year stay in the Autoblog long-term garage. Because of how important this car is to the segment, and to Mazda as a brand, we know there's going to be a lot to talk about it over the next 12 months. Right now, though, allow us to introduce you to the newest member of our long-term family.
Mazda is being very sneaky about what it is bringing to the New York Auto Show, and it might have something to do with the next-generation MX-5 Miata. Australian website Motoring.com.au spoke to a company insider who told it that at least the chassis for the roadster would debut in Manhattan. The rumor goes that the show will act as the kickoff for the PR campaign for the new model.
We contacted Mazda USA PR Director Jeremy Barnes to find out more, and he would neither confirm nor deny the rumor. "Just because you read it on the Internet doesn't mean you should repeat it," he said to Autoblog. That's not exactly an outright, No.
Supporting evidence that the new drop top might be appearing in the Big Apple includes Mazda's plan to celebrate the model's 25th anniversary at the show. It's bringing 15 cars from the first three generations to display. "It will be absolutely worth attending the New York Auto Show if you're a Miata fan," Barnes said. That at least hints that there might be something he's not telling us. Otherwise it's a lot of sizzle without much steak.
The styling changes at Mazda are proceeding at a fairly quick tempo. The CX-5 was unveiled, followed by a refreshed CX-9, the excellent Mazda6, and most recently a new Mazda3. This all happened over the course of less than two years, which in the auto industry is like a long week.
Now the Mazda2 is getting its revamp. Thanks to a magazine scan from Japan, we now have our first look at the new sub-compact, called the Demio, in its home market. Mazda's familial front end has been fitted, and it doesn't look quite as suited to the smaller car. Lacking the long-hood look of the Mazda3 and Mazda6, the new styling looks overly rounded, almost bulbous from our angle. It's still attractive, but the shape is kind of off-putting compared to the chiseled faces of the 2's big brothers. We'll concede that the folded magazine page may have something to do with it, however.
The next-generation 2 should adhere to Mazda's Skyactiv philosophy, which means we can expect a highly efficient four-cylinder engine, although it's impossible to say if Mazda will do away with its smallest offering's one-engine strategy. Considering the Mazda2 will be riding on a shortened version of the CX-5's platform, we'd expect some degree of mechanical parts sharing, regardless of how much the larger platform needs trimmed. Perhaps a detuned version of the 2.0-liter, Skyactiv four-cylinder could be under the 2's hood?