Click above for a photo gallery of the 2009 Mazda6

Mazda has released the first photos and initial details on the new 2009 Mazda6. Designed specifically for North America, the car shares many cues with the Japanese and European-market cars that hit the scene over the last year. The car Americans and Canadians will drive is, in fact, bigger than its overseas counterparts. Visually, the front and rear fascias differ from the Japanese and European models as well. The USDM car gets a bisected grille and has its foglamps pushed out to the corners below the bumper. As we'd seen in spy photos, the car gets a completely different trunk, rear bumper, and exhaust treatment that's more appealing than the plainer setup Japanese and Europeans get.

Since Mazda released only exterior shots, we'll have to wait to see what the passenger accomodations look like. Base power comes from the same 2.5L four-cylinder base engine used in the Japan/Euro car, mated to either a 6-speed stick or 5-speed auto. The step-up 3.7L V6 is the same one you'll find under the hood of the CX-9. It's only transmission option is a six-speed auto with a manumatic sport shift feature. Horsepower and torque numbers for the USDM car haven't been released yet, but figure on seeing something in the neighborhood of 170 hp/166 lb-ft from the four. The six produces 273 horses and 270 lb-ft in CX-9 trim, so we'd expect something along those lines. Mazda's press release is pasted after the jump, in which you'll find no mention of either a wagon or 5-door hatchback variant. The '09 Mazda6 arrives as a sedan only, and it'll land in your local dealer showrooms later this summer.

Related Gallery2009 Mazda6

Related Gallery2009 Mazda6 - spy shots

[Source: Mazda]


PRESS RELEASE:

Mazda Reveals the All-New Mazda6 for the North American Market
- Designed and engineered specifically for North American customers -

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today revealed the all-new Mazda6 and confirmed that sales will start in late summer 2008.

Specifically developed for North America, the all-new Mazda6 inherits and evolves the sporty styling and superb driving performance of the first generation Mazda6. The North American model features a larger body and greater engine displacement to meet the particular demands of the North American market. Handling and comfort were also optimized for North American road conditions.

"Following the CX-7 and the CX-9, the 2009 North American Mazda6 is the third model that was designed and engineered specifically to meet the needs of our North American customers," said Daniel T. Morris, Mazda's senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing and overseas sales. "The midsize sedan segment is extremely competitive and the Mazda6 will be up against some of the best vehicles in the industry.

"The all-new Mazda6 offers plenty of Mazda's characteristic Zoom-Zoom vitality and we believe it will succeed in the challenging North American market. We will continue to deliver products that reflect our customers' needs and build Mazda's brand image in order to achieve the goals set out in our mid-term Mazda Advancement Plan."

The all-new North American Mazda6 will be powered by Mazda's newly developed 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine and its 3.7-liter V6 engine. The I4 engine is already available in the European and Japanese Mazda6 models and the V6 promises an exhilarating ride, coming straight from the 2008 North American Truck of the Year, the Mazda CX-9. A six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode will be available for the I4 engine. The V6 will be coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode. The North American Mazda6 will be available only as a four-door sedan.

The all-new North American Mazda6 will be produced at AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan, a joint venture with partner Ford Motor Company, as it has been since the first Mazda6 launched in 2002.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.