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Click above to view high-res spy shots of the 2009 Mazda6

Last September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, we made the claim that the new Euro-spec Mazda6 was bringing sexy back to the midsize sedan market. The version slated for sale in the United States will do the same, but not because it's identical to the one designed for Europe. It's not. These spy shots from Brenda Priddy & Co. show a completely naked prototype that was caught in Detroit. Though at first glance it looks exactly like the 6 that debuted in Frankfurt last year, closer inspection reveals many changes to the car, which corroborates reports we've heard that the U.S. version is also markedly different underneath its skin. Follow the jump for a review of the changes in store for U.S. customers.

[Source: Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Co.]

Up front, we've noticed that this Mazda6 prototype features an open grille with a single crossbar, as opposed to the honeycomb-like grille of the European version. The lower air intake is also entirely different, with a pair of fog lights now placed as far apart as possible. Finally, the hood on this caught car features a pair of soft subtle creases, whereas the bonnet of the Euro-spec model gets a single, sharp crease down the center. The headlamps and taillights are completely different, and the rear of the car is also all new. The U.S. version will feature a pair of sporty exhaust tips integrated into its rear apron, which itself also features more curves than the Euro version.

It's difficult to know in this case whether we should be envious of our kin across the pond as we know nothing about the mechanicals of the car you see above. Whether the two cars turn out to be identical in that respect or not (probably not), at least we're guaranteed a design that is both unique and familiar at the same time.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      sorry but the euro one looks better
      • 7 Years Ago
      the evolution of this car sucks... I am NOT happy. Very disappointed....
      • 7 Years Ago
      I gotta vote nay on this one. The front looks silly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, Mazda had a chance to really make a splash. The buzz surrounding the 6 was getting pretty big. Oh well... I guess this will keep Mazdas more exclusive - for people who really value driving dynamics.

      I really liked the fog lights on the euro-spec. The look was pretty original. Otherwise, I think camera angle is probably causing most of the awkwardness of front.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Some will like it, some won't. I say good job Mazda!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why does the back remind me of a recent Oldsmobile?
      • 7 Years Ago
      They killed the concept which had a really clean, put together, higher end look to it. Now they've jacked the ride height up, finished it with cheap looking materials, and changed the lines in a bad way. Why ruin a good concept? That seems to be the trend in the automotive world lately.
      • 7 Years Ago
      FINALLY a picture of our Mazda6! It looks new and fresh but where European 6 looks upscale ours looks just average. Europe got the classy headlights and tail lights, where ours look cheaper. The Euro tail lights flow up into the side crease and ours does not, so we dont get that nice smooth flow. We also dont get the crease on the center of the hood. They also moved the fog lights out to each side on the US model, which in my opinion does not look as good. The inetgrated exhaust pipes look good though! Overall, a goodlooking package, but WHY did they give us cheap looking headlights and tail lights, they looks so 90's.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this looks great, however, the Euro version is twice as nice. Given the choice between this and a Camcordibu, I'd take this. But I would still test drive an Altima before I made a choice.

      If the U.S. version looked exactly like the overseas one it might have been game over for Toyota, Honda, Nissan and GM.

      I just fail to understand why NA auto divisions feel the need to muck up great overseas designs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hm.. I'll take the Euro/non-NA version over the NA one. I do like the rear on the NA, but the front is almost comely. The Euro, imo, has better proportions/looks. If I can get my hands on a 5-door version, I'll glady sell my CX-7.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Euro model was pretty perfect. I like the tailpipes on this one, but that's about it. The trunk and taillights look like they're 5 years old already. The headlight optics and grill look like parts bin from the 3. Compared to any of these 3, it ain't so great (but next to the Accord and Camry, it's still the looker):

      • 7 Years Ago
      I think its fine looks brilliant. Always like the rear view. No wonder Mazda did it again from Mazda3 up to now. I wish all latest moder Mazda parts can be used in old Mazda model.

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