2009 Mazda6 Unveiled For North AmericaS

Mazda today released the first photos of the 2009 Mazda6. Clearly embracing Ford's kinetic design, this new generation sedan looks more like the Ford Mondeo than the previous generation's Mazda6. According to the company, this vehicle will go on sale at the end of summer 2008. How does our version differ from the European Mazda6? First, the North American model is slightly larger than the other version with handing and comfort designed for American road conditions (whatever that means). In addition to the base 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder available in Europe, Americans will be getting a version of the 3.7-liter V6 found in the CX-9. The fourbanger gets a six-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic while the V6 gets only the six-speed automatic with manual shift. Unfortunately, the press release says that the "North American Mazda6 will be available only as a four-door sedan." Let's hope that doesn't stick. Press release below the jump.

Mazda Reveals the All-New Mazda6 for the North American Market

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today revealed the all-new Mazda6 and confirmed that sales will start in late summer 2008.

Specifically developed for North America, the all-new Mazda6 inherits and evolves the sporty styling and superb driving performance of the first generation Mazda6. The North American model features a larger body and greater engine displacement to meet the particular demands of the North American market. Handling and comfort were also optimized for North American road conditions.

"Following the CX-7 and the CX-9, the 2009 North American Mazda6 is the third model that was designed and engineered specifically to meet the needs of our North American customers," said Daniel T. Morris, Mazda's senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing and overseas sales. "The midsize sedan segment is extremely competitive and the Mazda6 will be up against some of the best vehicles in the industry.

"The all-new Mazda6 offers plenty of Mazda's characteristic Zoom-Zoom vitality and we believe it will succeed in the challenging North American market. We will continue to deliver products that reflect our customers' needs and build Mazda's brand image in order to achieve the goals set out in our mid-term Mazda Advancement Plan."

The all-new North American Mazda6 will be powered by Mazda's newly developed 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine and its 3.7-liter V6 engine. The I4 engine is already available in the European and Japanese Mazda6 models and the V6 promises an exhilarating ride, coming straight from the 2008 North American Truck of the Year, the Mazda CX-9. A six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode will be available for the I4 engine. The V6 will be coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode. The North American Mazda6 will be available only as a four-door sedan.

The all-new North American Mazda6 will be produced at AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan, a joint venture with partner Ford Motor Company, as it has been since the first Mazda6 launched in 2002.

[Source: Mazda]