The diesel has landed: Three 2014 Mazda Mazda6 racecars—each powered by a SKYACTIV diesel engine—made their competition premiere over the weekend during the “Rolex 24 at Daytona” endurance classic. And while the trio was plagued by teething pains during the event, which saw the last of the Mazda6 diesel racers retire near the six-hour mark, Mazda will continue chasing checkered flags in the new Grand Am GX Class throughout the 2013 racing season.
"This is an amazing moment in Mazda Motorsports history because we are once again bringing innovative technology to the race track to demonstrate the performance, quality, durability and reliability of our brand,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports for the company’s North American operations. “While many know us as the 'rotary engine' company, and we love that part of our heritage, to race our latest SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel technology in our newest car, in the race where we have scored our largest number of wins, is amazing. To get to this point, thousands and thousands of hours by engineers within Mazda in both Japan and the U.S., along with the amazing team at SpeedSource, has produced what we see as our prime mover for the next decade, SKYACTIV engines for racing."
Of course, as more and more U.S. owners are discovering, SKYACTIV engines for Mazda’s production vehicles have plenty to offer as well—as evidenced by vehicles like the 2013 Mazda Mazda3 and 2013 Mazda CX-5, as well as the soon-to-debut production model of the 2014 Mazda Mazda6.
2014 Mazda Mazda6: Pricing Details
Soon after the running of the Rolex 24, Mazda revealed pricing for the gas-powered 2014 Mazda Mazda6 lineup, starting with the entry-level “i Sport” model that will open at $20,880—an increase of just $155 as compared to the 2013 Mazda6. Here, a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV I4 engine gets mated to a six-speed manual transmission to provide 184 hp, 185 lb.-ft. of torque and EPA marks of 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway/29 mpg combined; shifting to a six-speed automatic requires a $1,615 premium but nets increased fuel-economy ratings that reach a best-in-class 26/38/30. At that point, drivers of the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 enjoy horsepower/torque advantages of 8 percent and +10 percent over the current model, as well as fuel-economy improvements of 24 percent/26 percent/20 percent. And that’s while also enjoying standard amenities like Bluetooth technology, a 5.8-inch color touchscreen, rearview camera, HD radio compatibility, SMS text messaging functionality, the E911 automatic emergency notification system, and an integrated interface for Pandora Internet radio,
The 2014 Mazda Mazda6 in its “i Touring” trim opens at $24,495 and also opens the floodgates to a torrent of additional standard equipment, including larger, 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control (with rear-seat vents), and leatherette-trimmed seating, with the driver benefiting from a six-way, power-adjust feature. Available goodies on the mid-level Mazda6 include navigation from TomTom, an 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio system, keyless entry, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and Mazda’s new Smart City Brake Support technology to help owners avoid potential low-speed, front-impact collisions.
At the acme of the new Mazda6 portfolio, with an MSRP of $29,495, the “i Grand Touring” model then piles on even more premium features, including exclusive 10-spoke alloy wheels, a power moonroof, auto-leveling HID headlights, leather-trimmed sport seats (with a heated front row), paddle shifters, and two available option packages that bring additional driver-assistance technologies (like adaptive cruise control and forward-obstruction warning) and the i-ELOOP capacitor-based regenerative-braking system for added fuel-economy gains.
Pricing for the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 with its new high-torque, high-efficiency clean-diesel engine will be provided at a later date.
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