Mazda shows wagon variant as 2014 Mazda6 enters production

2014 Mazda6 wagonProduction of the 2014 Mazda6 is underway at Mazda’s Hofu Plant No. 2 in Yamaguchi, Japan. The newest generation of the company’s midsize sedan will woo buyers with evocative styling and fuel efficient engines. Mazda will also build the 2014 6 as a wagon, but that car probably won’t make it to the United States.

“The new Mazda6 that starts rolling off the line today features both Skyactiv technology and Kodo – Soul of Motion design,” Takashi Yamanouchi, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Mazda, said.

It didn’t take a psychic to guess that Mazda would use the Skyactiv engines that debuted in the Mazda3 compact and CX-5 crossover in its midsize sedan, or that its styling would be based on the sexy Takeri concept. What did come as a surprise was the new wagon bodystyle.

The first car to come off the line was a Mazda6 wagon, and it looks gorgeous. The low roofline gives it the hunkered-down appearance of a Dodge Magnum or Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. Unfortunately, there are no plans to sell the 6 wagon in the States.

The wagon’s styling does bode well for the production 6 sedan, which Mazda recently showed peeking out of the darkness in a few teaser images. The styling stays pretty close to the Takeri concept’s (pictured) with a few adjustments for the real world. Mazda hopes its “Kodo” styling theme will attract customers who find the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, or Honda Accord boring.

The first production 2014 6s will come with the same 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine as the Mazda3 and CX-5. This engine produces a modest 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque; it returns 28 city and 40 highway mpg in the 3. Skyactiv engines use direct injection, lighter components, and high compression ratios to achieve maximum fuel economy.Mazda Takeri press release photo

Saving fuel is important, but will the 2.0-liter have enough grunt to move the bigger Mazda6? Most midsize sedans have a more powerful, optional engine. Perhaps Mazda will install a V6, or the 2.2-liter diesel from the Takeri and Euro-market CX-5.

The 2014 Mazda6 will also be the first car with Mazda’s i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. Unlike other systems, i-ELOOP uses capacitors to store electricity recovered during braking, instead of batteries. That energy will be used to power accessories like air conditioning and lights. Mazda reckons it will improve efficiency by 10 percent.

The 2014 Mazda6 will make its official debut in Russian-market form at the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2012 at the end of August. It will go on sale in Europe and Japan shortly after that, reaching U.S. shores in early 2013.