Mazda Has Raised The Bar Again

As someone who has an unwavering love of cars, appreciates the transcendence of driving, and a reverence for most complex mechanical processes that somehow work in perfect symphony, all of this promise of moving toward electric-driverless-souless mobility pods might have me seeking therapy. However, there are a few automakers that stand as a beacon of hope, as protectors of the holy grail, as an homage to machines that when built right take you closer to a higher power. Mazda happens to be one of them, and their latest Mazda6 sedan has me more excited than ever.

The latest Mazda6 will feature the company's latest and greatest engine architecture the Skyactiv which has automotive journalists drooling every time Mazda engineers mention it. Essentially, they've successfully combined the efficiency and response of high compression ratios and forced induction to achieve performance/efficiency figures never seen from petrol-powered machines. Couple that with some of the most well balanced, most communicative chassis and steering feels, and you can see why Mazda's are worshiped by enthusiasts everywhere. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="28556,28557,28558"]
"We don't necessarily believe in what the other guys are doing," said Jay Chen - a powertrain engineer at Mazda "We believe the internal-combustion engine is here to stay, we believe our approach is better. In the past, Mazda has tried to compete with Toyota and Honda head-to-head as a mainstream headline commodity manufacturer, and we hurt from that that."
And perhaps Mazda is on to something, Americans don't want to give up the convenience and power of petrol powered cars and what about people who live in apartments who don't have access to charging stations? Furthermore,  if electric cars are to be charged by burning natural gas or coal  in a power-plant, require new batteries every some-odd years, require that those batteries be recycled, and need precious earth metals from mines in countries that have less-than-favorable human rights track records, could a highly efficient Skyactiv Mazda actually be an equally socially responsible choice? The University of California at Berkeley's Energy Resources Collaborative appears to suggest so.

As for the interior on the new Mazda6, in Signature trim, rivals that of high-end German luxury brands. With Nappa leather, wood accents, and tasteful hints of brushed aluminum the Mazda6 is a car you can sink into and find your zen - 'Mature Elegance' is what Mazda calls it. Then there's the tech that we've all come to expect, like a 360-degree view monitor, an 8in infotainment center with Mazda Connect, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, all beautifully and subtly integrated into the space. The car even features a windshield wiper de-icer and an active heads-up display. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="28560,28559,28561"] Mazda engineers also note that chassis tweaks were made to make the car more agile and more comfortable, and because it's Mazda - we believe them. Even other car manufacturers believe them as all the new Mazdas have been grabbing the attention of automakers worldwide - especially that engine. "They're actually starting to see benefits of how we do things," Chen said. "Obviously [Toyota's] new engine is very similar to our Skyactiv-G engine. They envy us and our ability to challenge and do things differently" Chen added. As for me, I can't wait to drive the new Mazda6 and if you're going to ask me what car I'd buy, I'll always recommend throwing a Mazda into the mix. What are your thoughts? Do you like Mazda's new design language? What about the interior? Let us know in the comments below!

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