Diesel enthusiasts waiting on the new Skyactiv-D-powered Mazda6 will have to wait a bit longer. The shapely fuel-efficient four-door has just had its North American launch pushed back to April, due to delays in emissions testing. Mazda had originally planned to launch the Mazda6 diesel before the end of this year, making the four- to five-month delay a rather serious one.
Mazda's senior vice president of US operations, Robert Davis, told Mazda employees in a letter obtained by Automotive News that, "final certification testing - the results of which are looking encouraging - is taking longer than we had initially expected." Following this letter, Mazda made an official announcement:
Mazda is set to become the only Japanese manufacturer in the North American diesel game when the 6 arrives. The brand, which has famously eschewed hybrid technology in favor of its Skyactiv philosophy, favoring lightweight, highly efficient components in the name of saving fuel, made waves when it announced the 2.2-liter turbodiesel. In a way, the fuel-sipping powerplant takes the place of a larger V6 in the Mazda6 lineup, generating just 173 horsepower, but compensating with 310 pound-feet of torque.
"The on-sale date for Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel has been moved to late-Spring 2014, to accommodate final emissions testing and certification. We are pleased with the ongoing development and are excited to launch this much-anticipated vehicle in North America. 2014 Mazda6 sales continue to exceed both our expectations and our production abilities, and supplies of the car are short at dealers across the U.S. More information on the SKYACTIV-D clean diesel Mazda6 will be available closer to the on-sale date."
The delay in certification will lead to dealers getting an additional 4,000 gas-powered Mazda6s to make up for the lack of diesel early in 2014.