The diesel version of the 2014 Mazda6 won't be hitting North American showrooms until the middle of next year, but we won't have to wait that long to see the car in action. Mazda will enter its midsize sedan in the new Grand-Am GX class with a Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine under the hood, and the car will make its racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 26. This will be the first time in the race's 60-year history that a diesel-powered car has competed in the 24-hour race.

We first heard about the 2.2-liter turbocharged Skyactiv-D race engine back in June, but we now know it will used in the Mazda6 and we have a little bit better of an idea of power output. Developed in conjunction with SpeedSource, the clean diesel racer is said to produce more than 400 horsepower using many of the same components that will be found on the passenger version of the car.

The newly created GX class will race against the Daytona Prototypes and GT class cars, and its goal is to provide a race class for alternative fuels and technologies. In addition to the Mazda6, the Lotus Evora GX will also compete in the this class, which will be composed of 13 models from 12 automakers – including Audi, Hyundai, Ford and Scion.

Scroll down for Mazda's press release, and be sure to check out the Grand-Am link for more information.
Show full PR text
MAZDA6 CONFIRMED FOR 2013 GRAND-AM GX CLASS
ALL-NEW SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL WILL POWER LATEST MAZDA RACECAR

Nov 29, 2012


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda North American Operations today announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that the racing version of the 2014 Mazda6 will make its motorsports debut at the Rolex 24 endurance race on January 26-27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Mazda6 racecar will be powered by a Mazda SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine and is being developed for the new GRAND-AM GX class. This will be the first time a diesel-powered vehicle of any type has ever raced at the Rolex 24. Mazda will be seeking their 24th class win in the American endurance classic, having most recently won in 2008 and 2010.

John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations noted that: "We have been eager to announce this car for months, but had to wait until the production car was revealed. The SpeedSource engineering team, working with the Mazda engineers, have been flat out for months on engine development. We're happy to report that the engine is meeting the performance targets for both power and endurance. That means 400+ hp for over 50 hours, with an engine that includes a very long list of production Mazda parts. This is not a pure race engine; it is a production block SKYACTIV-D. We're excited about having our newest engine powering our newest car."

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world's largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. Mazda cars compete in over a dozen professional classes in the U.S.

Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com. Racers and fans can follow the action on facebook (Mazdaspeed Motorsports).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      Eidolon
      • 2 Years Ago
      ... Good grief, that aggressive kit is GORGEOUS on the new Mazda6!
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      Right on Mazda!
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      This gonna be a silhouette car or will it use a production unibody?
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carguy1701
        I'm going to guess a silhouette car. Grand Am gives more leniency than other series about the GT class. Remember that the Pontiac 'GXP' turned into a 'Camaro' in the off season.
          AXEL
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Drakkon
          and to think this will be meddling with ALMS...
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was waiting for this article. Info has been on Speed for a few days. Cool livery. It's like those fenders were made so they could be striped like this.
      k.naz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the design of the car, especially in that livery. If the engine can push all 400hp to the rear wheels without any issues (i.e. Peugeot in Le Mans 24) then I'm all up for it.
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      so its just a one off publicity stunt. that car has no chance to compete with daytona prototypes
        AXEL
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ELG
        It will race against Daytona prototypes in the same way that Flying Lizard races against Le Mans prototypes, on the same track?
      adrenalnjunky
      • 2 Years Ago
      Props to Mazda for hopping into the U.S. mid-size diesel sedan class with both feet. now, gimme a wagon w/6speed. I don't want to have to buy a VW.
      mbukukanyau
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is going to kill the rest of the cars. You know why? Range on tank. The Rest of the field better adapt. Hopefully Volkswagen sponsor a diesel Jetta or Golf.
        wilkegm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        My vote would be for a Beetle- the body shape would look sweet with huge stretched-out fenders
          Drakkon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @wilkegm
          The first generation Beetle Cup cars were exactly what describe, and honestly, they looked pretty cool. Not even 'for a Bug.' I mean genuinely cool. They had wheel spacers, wide tires and fenders stretched to make it all fit.
        dimcorner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Well I think you would have to come in for tires anyway so the range might not be an issue if tires wear out faster than whatever the maximum fuel tank you can take with you. Do they ever pit in the GM series for fuel only?
          dimcorner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dimcorner
          Nevermind, I guess they do come in for a fuel splash. Well then the only way would be to limit the tank size for diesel cars like they do in LeMans.
          mbukukanyau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dimcorner
          Dimcorner; Did you not see how Audi and Peugeot dominate with their diesels at Le Mans?
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, very cool. Maybe this will be the next Audi R10.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the livery.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      FWD?
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