We saw this coming: after the unveiling of the Takeri Concept last year (pictured here), Mazda had laid the plans pretty clear for its next midsize sedan: now, the automaker has announced that the 2014 Mazda 6 sedan will go on sale next year.
Mazda isn't saying too much more about the next 6, but we do know that a SkyActiv-G gasoline engine paired to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission will power it. Expect the 2014 6 to use the same 2.0-liter I-4 engine found in both the 2012 Mazda 3i compact and the 2013 CX-5 crossover; in both of those cars the 2.0-liter produces 155 hp. Mazda is aiming for best-in-class fuel economy – so expect the new Mazda sedan to score EPA numbers somewhere in the mid- to high-30 mpg range on the highway. No word on if Mazda will try to rival the 39-mpg highway Toyota Camry Hybrid or the 47-mpg highway 2013 Ford Fusion. Mazda has also yet to say if it will again offer a V-6 option in the 6 or offer only four-cylinders, similar to the strategy now employed by the Hyundai Sonata and 2013 Ford Fusion.
For those who are curious as to what the 2014 Mazda 6 will look like, look to the Takeri concept. While that car was stunning with striking lines, oversized wheels, and a futuristic interior, the basic forms of the concept will carry over to the production car. In a statement, Mazda North American Operations CEO Jim O'Sullivan said of the new 6 that it "will be the latest Mazda to break out of its segment's monotonous mold and be fiercely competitive versus the current sales leaders."
The Mazda 6 has long trailed the likes of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Chevrolet Malibu – the sales leaders of the midsize class. Through March of this year, Mazda has only sold 17,885 6 sedans, versus Toyota moving an amazing 105,405 Camrys in the same period.
The 2014 Mazda 6 will make its production debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show this fall and will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013. Expect to see full powertrain, equipment, and pricing details on the car once it debuts.