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Mazda has unveiled its latest challenger in the top flight of endurance racing, a diesel-powered prototype that will campaign the inaugural, 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship. The new Skyactiv-D-powered car will make its race debut at January's Rolex 24 at Daytona.

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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.

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This was sort of a quirky surprise drive opportunity. I've been over here in Italy for a while now, and Mazda Italia contacted me seemingly out of the blue to drive test some version of the Mazda6 with a diesel engine. Supremo. The Mazda6 is a sexy everyday beast and I have been digging their SkyActiv-D engines for a while now. Very spirited units.

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The Grand AM GX class isn't the only place where Mazda will be running its 2.2-liter turbocharged Skyactiv-D four-cylinder diesel next year: it will power the LMP2 contender fielded by Dempsey Racing, a team co-owned by actor Patrick Dempsey. Mazda will also provide the engine to other teams running in the class at Le Mans, in the American Le Mans Series and the World Endurance Championship.

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The Grand AM GX class isn't the only place where Mazda will be running its 2.2-liter turbocharged Skyactiv-D four-cylinder diesel next year: it will power the LMP2 contender fielded by Dempsey Racing, a team co-owned by actor Patrick Dempsey. Mazda will also provide the engine to other teams running in the class at Le Mans, in the American Le Mans Series and the World Endurance Championship.

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Beneath the gorgeous and impossibly long looking hood of the Mazda Takeri Concept lies plenty of real estate. By our estimation there's room for any number of powerplants, from a high-revving rotary to a twin-turbo V6. However, when Mazda launches the new 2014 Mazda6, which will ape the looks of the Takeri show car, it will only contain a measly little four-cylinder, according to Autoweek.

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Most people who follow the auto industry know that diesels are popular in Europe – and more and more so in the U.S. – but it appears Mazda underestimated how many people in Japan want an oil burner. According to the Nikkei, Mazda expected to sell just 1,000 CX-5s a month in Japan, but it instead sold 8,000 in February, the first month the CUV was on sale there. Oh, and 73 percent of them were diesel-powered.

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Mazda6 mules are out there somewhere being tested right now for a planned debut in early 2012. The vehicles feature an entirely reworked suspension, an advanced six-speed automatic transmission and a multi-purpose platform that will underpin several new Mazda models. Mazda sources say that the new 6, with its advanced platform and new range of engines, should be future-proofed for upcoming emissions and safety standards for at least a decade after its launch, but Mazda's approach to engineering

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2010 Mzda CX-7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Mzda CX-7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Stop us if you've heard this one. A major global automaker with plans in place to increase fuel efficiency X percent by X date offers all kinds of cool diesel engines all over the world except in America. The reason? Americans don't buy diesels, they say. In this case, the automaker in question is Mazda, and the goal is to boost the fuel efficiency of its fleet of cars and trucks 30 percent by 2015.

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2010 Mazda CX-7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click for a high res gallery of Mazdas new diesel

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Click above for a high-res image of the new Mazda2

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We've covered news of the Mazda2 and Mazda's Hakaze concept car, both of which are set to be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. The third car that will get Mazda's open-the-curtain treatment is the new Mazda3

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