|Also called||Mazda 6 MPS Mazda Speed Atenza|
|Assembly||Hiroshima and Hofu, Japan|
|Body style||4-door saloon|
|Layout||Front engine / all-wheel drive|
|Platform||Mazda GG chassis|
|Engine||MZR 2.3 L Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) turbo-charged I4|
|Wheelbase||2,675 mm (105.3 in)|
|Length||4,690 mm (184.6 in)|
|Width||1,780 mm (70.1 in)|
|Height||1,430 mm (56.3 in)|
|Curb weight||1,628 kg (3,589 lb)|
The 2006 Mazdaspeed Atenza (known as Mazdaspeed6 in North America and Mazda 6 MPS in Europe, South Africa and Australia) is a high-performance version of the Mazda 6. Its mission statement was written with the help of Peter Birtwhistle, chief of Mazda's advanced design studio in Germany at the time. It was initially unveiled as a concept at the 2002 Paris show. It features a turbocharged version of the 2.3 L MZR I4 which produces 272 PS (200 kW) (European version is detuned to 260 PS (191 kW); the North American version, at 274 hp (204 kW), revised to 270 hp (200 kW) for 2007). All models have 280 lb·ft (380 N·m) of torque. This 2.3 L DISI turbocharged engine features direct fuel injection and conforms to the new Euro 5 emissions standards. It has a revised front fascia with a raised hood, a 6-speed manual transmission, and all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system uses Mazda's Active Torque Split computer-based control, which routes up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels depending on driving conditions.
|Top Speed||149 mph|
|0-60 mph||6.4 secs|
|CO2 Emissions||245 g/km|
|Euro Emissions Standard||4|
Originally scheduled to be launched in June 2005, the Mazdaspeed Atenza was delayed until November. In North America, the Mazdaspeed6 comes in two trim levels; the "Sport" trim with cloth interior and standard key entry and ignition; and the "Grand Touring" trim with leather interior, keyless entry/ignition, and an optional DVD navigation. Automatic climate control is standard, as is a 200 W Bose stereo system featuring seven speakers and a 9-inch subwoofer in addition to an in-dash six-disc CD changer. A sunroof with moonroof feature is optional on the Grand Touring trim.
Car and Driver magazine has achieved a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds for this vehicle.
The Mazda6 was second place in the 2003 European Car of the Year awards and made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 2003. The Sport Wagon won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Station Wagon award, while the Sport sedan won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Family Car award for 2005. The Atenza Wagon also won What Car?'s Best Estate award in 2004. Also the Mazda6 won the 2003 Semperit Irish Car of the Year.
The Mazda6 won the 'Best Mid-size Car (over $28,000)' title in Australia's Best Cars in 2002 and 2003. It came second in 2004, behind the Subaru Legacy, and fifth in 2005 (the Honda Accord Euro was first in 2005). Wheels magazine also awarded the Mazda6 winner of its Active Safety Program in July 2005. In December 2007 in Australia the Mazda6 won the Carsales Peoples Choice award for its class.
The Mazda 6 was praised for its edgy handsome design, communicative steering and tight suspension. However, as it was designed as a world car in order to fit the needs of Europe and Japan, it was smaller than its North American contemporaries in the midsize segment, being criticized for its reduced passenger space. Its acceleration, particularly the V6 engine models, lagged behind that of its rivals as well.
The hatchback's liftback/notchback styling was considered a clever design to disguise it as a four-door saloon, as North Americans generally considered trunks more elegant than hatches. The estate had an early demise, but the hatchback was somewhat successful in Canada, especially in Québec, though it would not have a 2009 refresh, as both models were unpopular in the US.