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MAZDASPEED6: THE FASTEST, BEST-HANDLING MAZDA SEDAN ZOOMS INTO CHICAGO

MAZDASPEED6: THE FASTEST, BEST-HANDLING MAZDA SEDAN ZOOMS INTO CHICAGO

— America’s First Gasoline Direct-Injection Turbocharged Drivetrain Powers the Ultimate MAZDA6 —

CHICAGO – Mazda is blowing into the Windy City in a big way with its newest high-performance vehicle on display at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show. The 274-horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque, all-wheel driveMAZDASPEED6 is expected to add additional customer and media accolades to the MAZDA6 family’s already impressive collection. Power from the direct-injection turbocharged 2.3-liter engine is channeled to an all-new Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive system for traction and handling in all conditions.


"The MAZDASPEED6 offers the optimal balance between performance and sophistication," said Weldon Munsey, vehicle line manager for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "The turbocharged engine, with its broad powerband, excellent fuel economy and eco-friendly emissions levels, is unmatched in its class, while the sport-minded, luxurious cabin helps deliver a car drivers will find hard to exit."


The MAZDASPEED6 will be available as a Sport or Grand Touring model. Both versions feature extensive interior appointments, including stainless steel scuff plates, sport-type front seats, a BOSE® audio system with in-dash six-disc CD changer and an alloy pedal set. The MAZDASPEEDGrand Touring edition also will receive black leather-trimmed seat upholstery, eight-way adjustable heated front seats, heated door mirrors, an advanced keyless entry system and optional power moonroof.


To encase the interior sophistication, the MAZDASPEEDboasts a unique compliment of exterior color options, including Black Mica, Whitewater Pearl Mica, Velocity Red Mica, Black Cherry Mica, Titanium Gray II Mica and Liquid Platinum Metallic.


The exhilarating contours of the MAZDA6 are even more accentuated in the MAZDASPEEDto create a look that conveys the vehicle's dynamic performance and solid stability. Mazda engineers applied a subtle, yet aggressive design to create a refined appearance that resonates with those seeking automotive maturity and refinement.


The shape of the MAZDASPEEDis a symphony of solid proportions and athletic tension. An aerodynamic front bumper and lower grille section hints at the high performance hiding behind the overall road-hugging image. A five-point upper grille serves as the air intake, directing cooling air through an in-hood duct to the intercooler. The sleek design extends to the strong proportions of the flared side skirts and is amplified by the 18-inch aluminum wheels. A rear bumper with built-in diffuser for the integrated exhaust tailpipe combines with a compact, functional rear lip spoiler to finish off the attractive exterior package that also serves to maintain the MAZDA6's strong aerodynamic package. The vehicle's overall exterior look is that of a tightly integrated machine with a unique, fresh identity.


The interior of the MAZDASPEEDis equally attractive as the exterior and shares much with its siblings, the MAZDA6 Sports Sedan, 5-Door and Sport Wagon. The spacious cabin seats five adults and is conducive to communication between driver and passengers. Engineers chose high-quality interior materials for a lush finish that appeals to adult sensibility, rather than leaning toward youth-oriented and stark rally-inspired trimmings. Other performance-minded interior features include the custom six-speed shift knob and semi-bucket sport-type front seats for excellent side support.


The performance attitude of the MAZDASPEEDstems from its powerplant. By introducing direct injection to a turbo application, Mazda circumvented the usual drawback of turbocharging – poor low- and mid-range torque – while meeting strict exhaust regulations. Both fuel mixture loading efficiency and torque are increased by injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber. As a result, the turbocharger delivers much of its 15.6 psi of boost from approximately 2500 rpm. The single-scroll turbocharger maintains exhaust temperature, allowing for reduced thermal capacity of the exhaust system, which, in turn, minimizes harmful emissions and allows the MAZDASPEED6 to meet both LEV-II state and Bin 5-A Federal regulations.


An all-new high-performance six-speed transmission harnesses the MAZDASPEED6's ample power and was developed specifically for this application. Mazda engineers chose low gears for strong acceleration and high overdrive gears for effortless high-speed cruising. The extremely small transmission employs triple cone synchronizers – which minimize shift effort – for first, second and third gears, with a double cone synchronizer for fourth gear, allowing for smooth up and downshifts. Brass synchronizers were chosen on select gears to minimize shift balking and maximize feel.


The dynamic driving experience is further enhanced by the MAZDASPEED6’s Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive system. The all-new system yields a superb balance between Zoom-Zoom driving excitement and assured stability under all road conditions. The torque transfer system found in the MAZDASPEED6adjusts front/rear torque distribution between 100:0 and 50:50 for optimum drive power to each wheel and can react to wheel slippage much more quickly than conventional gear- or fluid-controlled systems.



The Active Torque Split system incorporates real-time input data on steering angle, yaw rate, lateral G force and engine status to determine road surface and driving conditions, then selects between Normal, Sports and Snow (slippery) modes to provide the most power and traction under all conditions. A torque-sensing limited-slip differential (borrowed from the Mazda RX-8 sports car) optimizes torque and ensures excellent power delivery when cornering or on slippery surfaces. To ensure consistent power delivery under all weather and driving conditions, the water-cooled Power Take Off center differential distributes torque to the rear axle.


Another Mazda innovation applied to the MAZDASPEED6 is the proprietary Advanced Precision Mazda Casting processes, which drastically improves the strength of the cylinder block and head. Other enhanced components in the engine include steel connecting rods and crankshaft, increased diameters of connecting rod pins, optimized rod shape and the introduction of full floating pistons. Each and every moving part is stronger, more rigid and more durable. Literally hundreds of part numbers were changed from the standard MZR non-turbo engine in developing this powerplant.



To complete the Zoom-Zoom experience, engineers tuned the exhaust for an exhaust note that is both subtle and aggressive with a pleasing linear curve at high engine speeds.


In order for the MAZDASPEED6 to take advantage of its turbocharged powerplant, the chassis received extensive attention. Mazda engineers succeeded in improving torsional rigidity by approximately 50 percent off the base MAZDA6, which helps improve steering and overall driving pleasure.



Mazda engineers paid particular attention to local reinforcement on a sub-assembly level, which avoids increased vehicle weight while simultaneously increasing rigidity where it is most needed. The advantages include improved rear suspension grip and sharper handling characteristics.

By focusing on the front and rear suspension components independently, engineers created a stable, communicative driving platform. At the front, improvements designed to enhance handling include increased dampening force of the double-wishbone suspension, a 25 percent higher spring rate for the coil springs and an increase in the diameter of the stabilizer bar from 23mm to 24mm.


The multi-link rear suspension saw extensive changes in order to fit the rear drive unit, without denigrating the car’s driving experience. The changes began with a switch to mono-tube dampers for superior response and smooth transitions between compression and rebound, thereby improving dampening performance. The spring rate of the rear coils has been increased by 37 percent, the stabilizer bar diameter increased from 21mm to 23mm and the rear cross-member reinforced to support theMAZDASPEED6's potent output.


Braking is by discs all around, with fronts measuring 12.6 inches and vented, and rears measuring 12.3 inches and solid. The brakes work in synergy with the four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Active Torque Split All-Wheel-Drive system to exhibit an outstanding level of active safety. From the beginning of MAZDASPEED6 development, braking performance and feel was deemed to be critical to the car’s performance.


The MAZDASPEED6 shares the class-leading safety features found in every member of the MAZDA6family. With side-impact door beams, whiplash-reducing front seat headrests, dual front airbag supplemental restraint systems (SRS) and standard-equipment side impact airbags and air curtains, theMAZDASPEED6 sets the benchmark in safety for performance sedans.


The thorough attention to detail synonymous with Mazda has yielded an elegantly aggressiveMAZDASPEED6 that further establishes Mazda on the front lines of automotive design and performance. With every component enhanced for strength and durability and every aspect optimized to ensure seamless performance, the MAZDASPEED6 propels the MAZDA6 family to a higher level of automotive excellence.


Like every Mazda, the 2006 MAZDASPEED6 comes with a four-year roadside assistance program. With a call to a toll-free number, MAZDASPEEDowners can access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. For all 2006 Mazda vehicles, the company will provide a free loaner car in the event a warrantable condition requires the use of alternative transportation.


The 2006 MAZDASPEEDis covered by a comprehensive four-year/50,000-mile warranty that covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. In addition, MAZDASPEEDis covered by a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.



Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on Mazda products, visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.

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Tags: BEST-HANDLING, CHICAGO, FASTEST, INTO, MAZDA, MAZDASPEED6:, SEDAN, THE, ZOOMS

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