Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mazda Planning a 6 Coupe for 2017—An Honest-to-Goodness Two-Door Coupe!

2014 Mazda 6 Sedan

Zounds! A coupe built on a family sedan platform with a mere two access portals? What is this? 1986? Not quite, but in 2016, according to a report in Auto Express, we could see a two-door coupe version of the Mazda 6 sedan. The fact that we have to specify that this potential 6 would be a two-door would undoubtedly confound our forefathers, but thanks to the efforts of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and the Volkswagen Group, a coupe taking the form of a four-door with a swoopy roof, built on a sedan platform, natch, seems to be the rule, rather than the exception.

The news of a Mazda 6 coupe is especially surprising when you consider the state of front-drive two-doors built on midsize bones. The Toyota Camry Solara long ago fell by the wayside, as did the two-door Chevrolet Lumina and its Monte Carlo–badged successor. Ford's long since abandoned the two-door mid-size/large car, referring those desiring classical signifiers of sportiness to the Mustang's corner of the lot. With Nissan's Altima coupe gone, Honda remains the last manufacturer standing in the mid-size coupe arena.

On the mid-size sedan front, which has remained on boil, the perennial 10Best-favorite Accord lineup suddenly faced stiff competition last year in the form of the sultry, dynamically fantastic Mazda 6 sedan. Adding a coupe to the Mazda's mix would signify that Hiroshima's doubling down on Honda-hunting zoom-zoomosity during a period that's seen the Mazda 3 become a standout to rival the Golf, the rebirth of the venerable MX-5 Miata sports car, and the debut of the great-looking 2016 Mazda 2 subcompact. These cars all exemplify Mazda's magnetic draw toward simple virtues that historically have made for compelling automobiles: light weight, eye-catching design, enjoyable powertrains, and engaging handling.

Dropping a 6 coupe cherry on top of Mazda's current product sundae suggests that the company is confident and willing to plant a flag in a field that most other manufacturers have all but abandoned. The rest of the industry may have bailed on the mid-size, two-door coupe for good reason, however, since the four-door is not considered the concession to adult stodginess that it once was. (Enter the now clichéd "four-door coupe genre.) Even if the end result is not a revival of the rotary-powered, rear-drive Cosmo sports car (which later morphed into a tech-laden grand tourer), it should prove attractive and sweet to drive, and we admire Mazda's chutzpah for taking the risk.

from Car and Driver Blog


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