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Perpetual Tease: Mazda Continues to Sneak 2014 Mazda6 Onto Web 26
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Mazda, Mazda 6, Mazda6, News on 07 26th, 2012

Mazda’s Mazda6 was once a sleeper in the aspect of being a volume seller that not many people really talked about. With such emphases put on midsized sedans being the cash cows that they are for automakers, the Mazda6 could help make or break Mazda’s future.

Let’s face it; a lot is riding on the Mazda6 and by the looks of a perpetual influx of Mazda6 ‘sneak-peak’ images, that can be taken literally.

Mazda, over the course of a week, has released few details of the Mazda6 with new teaser images slightly revealing what the upcoming work-horse of Mazda will look like. So far, the new Mazda6 looks to resemble styling of the well-perceived CX-5 crossover, which is a good thing if you ask me. The new styling language, dubbed Koda, will filter down from the CX-5 finding its way on the new 2014 Mazda6 and eventually reaching other models as their generation run ends.

The new 2014 Mazda6 is said to replace its current V6 engine for a four-cylinder featuring SkyActive technology, a new 6-speed automatic transmission and regenerative braking called i-ELOOP (Intelligent Energy Loop) to improve fuel economy by up to 10%.

The Mazda Takeri concept, which debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, is the basis of the2014 Mazda6’s design. Mazda will have its work cut out to compete with the likings of the new Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and even the upcoming Honda Accord redesign.

The new 2014 Mazda6 will make its official debut at the 2012 Moscow Auto Show next month.

2011 Mazda Takeri Concept

2011 Mazda Takeri Concept

2011 Mazda Takeri Concept

2011 Mazda Takeri Concept

Report: Subaru Tribeca, Mazda6 Living On Borrowed Time 10
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Mazda, Mazda 6, News, Subaru, Subaru Tribeca on 05 10th, 2011

If Japan’s Nikkan Kogyo newspaper is correct, both the Subaru Tribeca crossover and the Mazda6 sedan may be put to rest in the very near future. Subaru has stopped working on development of a next-generation Tribeca, primarily since the current version has sold just 910 units year to date. The Tribeca is chewing up production capacity at Subaru’s Indiana plant, which could be used to produce more high-demand Legacy and Outback models. Even a design change from the original (and controversial) styling hasn’t been enough to boost Tribeca sales, since consumers have a hard time figuring out exactly where the crossover excels against its competition.

Mazda phasing out the Mazda6 would come as more of a surprise, since it would leave them without a mid-size sedan. Sales of the Mazda6 have failed to meet expectations since the 2008 redesign: Mazda had hoped for annual production of 100,000 units, but built less than half of that in 2010. Should Mazda pull the plug on the Mazda6, it’s entirely possible that they’d abandon the Flat Rock, MI facility in favor of one with lower operating costs, and sources have Mazda considering a switch to manufacturing in Mexico.

Neither the Tribeca nor the Mazda6 are bad choices, but both lack a strong identity. The Tribeca went from quirky styling to bland styling, and even an upscale interior isn’t enough to draw in buyers. Lower pricing would probably boost sales, at least temporarily, but the real issue is the population of other viable choices in the segment. The Tribeca simply isn’t better at anything than its competitors, many of which offer a lower price. The Mazda6, on the other hand, is competitive enough against offerings from Honda and Toyota, but it lacks distinctive styling or performance. Where’s the Mazdaspeed version? Where’s the manual transmission option for trim levels above the base model? For a manufacturer that built its reputation on racing and fun-to-drive cars, the Mazda6 almost seems like an afterthought. Maybe it really is time to pull the plug.

Source: Autoweek

The Mazda 6, Arachnophobia And You 4
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Mazda, Mazda 6, Recalls, safety on 03 4th, 2011

A 2010 Mazda 6. Image: Mazda

Do you have a fear of spiders, known medically as arachnophobia? Chances are there’s no good reason for it, since very few of the eight legged critters found in the U.S. can do you much harm. Sure, we’ve got the black widow and the brown recluse to worry about, but both pale in comparison to spiders found in Australia. Take the Sydney funnel web, for example, whose fangs can penetrate the leather of a shoe and whose venom is perfectly capable of killing a human (or making him wish he was dead). In the United States, though, there’s no good reason to fear spiders, unless you own a 2009 to 2010 Mazda 6; in that case, a spider really can kill you.

Before you go bug bombing the inside of your car, don’t worry – it’s not that some exotic and deadly species found its way into the U.S. via the Mazda 6’s interior. Instead, and I am not making this up, “a certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction in the line”. The net result, Mazda tells us, is “excessively negative” fuel tank pressure that could ultimately lead to a crack in the fuel tank, a fuel spill and a resulting fire. Which, in turn, could lead to a rather unpleasant, spider-related death. Which is reason enough, in my book, to kill every one of them I see.

It’s worth noting that no fires, injuries or deaths have been traced back to this bizarre recall of 52,000 Mazda 6 sedans. In fact, Mazda has found just two fuel leaks, so the recall is voluntary and an example of Mazda erring on the side of caution. The fix is to install a spring that “prohibits spider intrusion”, but I’ve got my own way of doing just that. Generally it involves a carefully placed, size 10 wide shoe.

Source: NY Times Wheels