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HOOKED ON SPEED

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Aug 29, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

HOOKED ON MAZDASPEED By Greg Nakano

This is no ordinary turbo-charged all-wheel drive vehicle like expected. The Mazdaspeed6 is packed with the power and handling of a true performance vehicle, but refined with an automatic climate control, navigation and a Bose speaker system like a true luxury sedan.

The exterior of the Mazdaspeed6 is also enhanced for the sport luxury sedan, including a unique grill and hood, aerodynamic front and rear bumpers, sidesills and a rear lip spoiler. HID low-beam headlights and halogen fog lights perfectly match the body lines and style of the vehicle. A sporty dual exhaust is quiet for the everyday cruise down the road and opens up to a deep grumble all the way to the 7000RPM redline.

Handling and braking are also upgraded over the non-Speed 6, with lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped with high performance 215/45R18 tires to help keep the power planted to the ground. Underneath the alloy wheels are a new set of brakes with a 12.6-inch ventilated front brake and a 12.4-inch solid rear disc, with an anti-lock brake system and electronic brakeforce distribution to help it come to a halt as fast as it accelerates. The chassis has gone under some reinforcements, increasing the torsional rigidity by 50 percent. Double-wishbone front suspension with 25 percent higher spring rates and E-type multilink independent rear suspension with 37 percent higher spring rates have been upgraded for increased stability control. A larger diameter front and rear stabilizer are added for flatter cornering. An integral traction control system and dynamic stability control system are also added. With these handling improvements, the ride has surprisingly not suffered at all. This makes the MazdaSpeed6 comfortable for both your everyday stop and go through downtown and the gripping, road hugging runs through the canyons.

The engine and drivetrain of the new Mazdaspeed6 are not overlooked. The all-aluminum 2.3L DOHC inline-4 turbocharged and intercooled engine is equipped with a Hitachi-Warner K04 single scroll turbo. It utilizes a Direct-Injection Spark Ignition to dramatically boost low and mid-range torque while enhancing combustion and fuel economy. This combination has the power in the low rpm for the impressive off the line response or highway overtaking in any gear plus the top end power to keep it going. The engine lays down an impressive 274 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque at 3000 rpm. The computer-controlled all-wheel drive system is an Active Torque Split design that automatically balances front/rear torque from 100:0 to 50:1 using sensors to monitor steering angle, yaw rate, lateral G-force and engine data. A limited slip rear differential, liquid-cooling power-take-off system and a 6-speed manual overdrive gearbox with a compact three-shaft design top off the drivetrain. This combination of engine and drivetrain is Mazda engineering at its finest.

The interior refinements of the Mazdaspeed6 are nothing short of a luxury sedan, with a tinge of sporty feeling. The electroluminescent gauges are nestled right down the center of a leather wrapped steering wheel equipped with radio and cruise controls at your finger tips. A center instrument display panel displays clock, audio, outside temperature to name a few. A navigation system to keep you going in the right direction, automatic climate control and a premium AM/FM/CD audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer blend smoothly into the center dash. The 200-watt BOSE speaker system, which include four full-range speakers, two tweeters and a separately amplified subwoofer, handle the sounds. Front sport seats with side bolsters to keep you in the seat on hard cornering along with the eight way adjustable seating and manual lumbar support keep you nice and comfortable for the long drives. The two-tone leather trim over the seats and doors are nothing more than styling perfection. Drilled aluminum foot pedals and stainless steel Mazdaspeed scuff plates finish off the interior.

In every sense of the term, the Mazdaspeed6 is a true sport luxury sedan - with the emphasis on sport. SUMMARY JUDGMENT Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?

For more information on Mazda products, go to www.mazdausa.com.

SPECIFICATIONS

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2006 Mazdaspeed 6 Grand Touring Price, as tested: $33,425 Engine type: 2.3-liter DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged in-line four with direct gas injection Horsepower: 274 at 5500 rpm Torque: 280 ft-lbs. at 3000 rpm Transmission: Six-speed manual transmission with limited-slip differential Drive configuration: All-wheel drive with active torque split Suspension Front: Double-wishbone independent front suspension and stabilizer bar Rear: E-Type, multi-link independent suspension and stabilizer bar Exterior Length: 186.8 in. Width: 70.1 in. Height: 56.3 in. Wheel Base: 105.3 in. Turning Circle: 36.8 ft. Curb Weight: 3589 lbs. Interior Front/Rear Head Room: 38.7/37.1 in. Front/Rear Hip Room: 54.7/54.1 in. Front/Rear Shoulder Room: 56.1/54.9 in. Front/Rear Leg Room: 42.3/36.5 in. Fuel Data Fuel Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.9 gal. EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway) Manual: 19 mpg / 25 mpg 0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds Quarter-mile: 14.3 seconds at 96 mph

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