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.

Related Gallery2009 Mazda6 - spy shots

Related Gallery2008 Mazda6

[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.