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Maybe you looked at the Mazda 6 sedan, with its great styling, well-designed interior and agile handling and said something along the lines of: I really like this thing, but I sure do wish it had a punchier motor — maybe the 2.5-liter turbo-four from the CX-9 crossover, for example.

Well, Mazda must have dozens of covert listening devices installed all around your home and or office — because that’s exactly what they just announced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. For the 2018 model year, higher-trim Mazda 6 sedans will use the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T motor; when run on 93-octane fuel, the turbocharged 2.5-liter produces 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque — a healthy bump over the 184 hp/185 lb-ft of the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter already found in the 6.

Other Mazda 6s will stick with the naturally aspirated inline-four. The non-turbo motor is the only way to go if you want a six-speed manual; the 2.5T gets a six-speed auto exclusively. Hey, don’t complain to us; send your angry letters to Mazda.

2018 Mazda 6 Signature interior dashboard

Mazda’s premium push continues with the just-announced 2018 Mazda 6 Signature. Note the band of wood, leather and metal stretching across the dashboard, interrupted only by the steering wheel — a nice touch!

Crossovers are the future for Mazda in the US

Like the CX-9 from which it borrows its engine, range-topping 6 sedans will also get the Signature trim treatment — more evidence of Mazda’s shift to premium, or at least its own unique interpretation of it. That means a slate of nice materials drawn from the brand’s Japanese roots and … actually, we’re just going to pull right from the Mazda press release for this. There’s no sense in trying to paraphrase it:

Mazda6’s Signature interior features authentic materials — brown napa leather, whose color is inspired by the aged wood in ancient Japanese temples; UltraSuede NU that is adorned with a subtle gold tint, using a similar technique to that which is used to make ornate kimonos; and Sen wood accents, a type of wood often used in taiko drums and Japanese furniture.

Last, but not least: The seats get a big upgrade; the front seats are wider — trying to tell us something, Mazda? — and for the first time, ventilation is available.

Plus, Mazda says the 2018 6 is even quieter than 2017 model because of body reinforcements, thicker rear wheel well sheetmetal, extra bracing and thicker suspension trailing link mounts. And it should handle better thanks in part to a revised suspension geometry steering rack that is now rigid-mounted to the chassis (we suspect the rack was mounted on business before, but the handling was already great).

The 2018 Mazda 6 should go on sale in the spring. We expect pricing information (and fuel economy specs for the new 2.5T) ahead of that.

Graham Kozak

Graham Kozak – Graham Kozak drove a 1951 Packard 200 sedan in high school because he wanted something that would be easy to find in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re doing with fuel injection and seatbelts these days are pretty nifty too.
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