Often, performance enthusiasts can also be a bit snobby. All too often we become caught up in one make or model of car and decide that all vehicles worth anything of value have to either be that type of car or be somehow related to it. However, every so often, a car comes along that has the potential to change conventional ways of thinking, and, in the process, that car manages to convert a fair number of fans as well. While these are cars are, indeed, very rare, perhaps one excellent example can be found in the MazdaSpeed 6, an interesting and powerful vehicle with abilities that far exceed in practice what they look like on paper.
For those who are not aware, the MazdaSpeed 6 is the performance-oriented version of the popular Mazda6 sedan. The car is equipped with a 2.3 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, which puts out around 270 horse power, a very powerful number for a sedan which was previously thought to be fairly tame. The Mazda unleashes all of this power through a six speed transmission and puts it to the ground using all wheel drive. However, perhaps the real question is, “What makes the MazdaSpeed 6 so special?”
Looking at the Mazda, it really doesn’t seem to be anything special, even though it looks very nice. In fact, anyone who is not a dedicated Mazda fan is likely going to be unable to tell the difference between the MazdaSpeed 6 and the standard Mazda 6. However, the differences are there, it just takes a little bit of looking to find them. For starters, the front end is slightly revised, and looks just a tad bit more aggressive.
The Speed version also comes equipped with larger wheels and a nice (but not overly large) rear spoiler. The MazdaSpeed 6 looks great, it is a clean package, and one that manages to look sporty yet very refined at the same time, a balancing act that only a few cars are ever able to pull off with ease.
At the same time, it is likely that the rather unobtrusive appearance of the sedan is going to surprise more than a few potential buyers. Indeed, perhaps the only complaint that can be offered about the MazdaSpeed 6 is that it really does not embody the power that lies within the rest of the car.
The interior continues the habit of looking refined, yet still having a hint of sport just below the surface. Most of the interior is covered in a “brushed metal” color, with a just a few silver accents here and there. Although this may sound a bit bland, the red lighting on the gauge cluster and throughout the car really stand out, and in practice it looks good. However, remember that the MazdaSpeed 6 is still designed to be a sedan instead of a sports car, and, thus, the interior is designed to be functional as well as sporty.
Even though the Speed may be designated as a performance vehicle in the future, the car still offers plenty of interior room and trunk space, and can fit four or five adults (depending on size) with plenty of comfort. However, sitting inside the MazdaSpeed really does feel like something special.
The shifter feels perfectly balanced, the steering wheel ready for whatever corner comes next, and the interior equally ready for a family or for an individual. Whether one opts for cloth or leather seats, it is unlikely that any will be disappointed in what the interior of the MazdaSpeed 6 has to offer.
While the interior and the exterior both look good, by far the most impressive thing about the vehicle comes when you first step on the pedal. Even though most turbo charged cars take a while to spool up, the direct injection MazdaSpeed manages to hit boost right around 2,500 RPM, and, when you can get a factory turbo to put out about 15 psi of boost, that means a lot of power very quickly. As soon as one steps on the gas pedal of the MazdaSpeed 6, one becomes a believer.
The powerful engine takes the car away with only a flick of the foot, and the short shifting six speed manual transmission makes hitting windy corners and tearing through the gears even more fun. The all wheel drive suspension lets the car rip through whatever comes its way, and the wide stance and longer body of the vehicle actually seem to inspire balance and driving confidence, far from taking it away.
Of course, it is hard to imagine one taking full advantage of this vehicle with a family inside, but nonetheless, those who care about performance are going to be absolutely thrilled with the MazdaSpeed 6, it is a powerful driver, a wonder around corners, and an absolute joy to drive in every possible respect.
From the simplified but still sporty and elegant exterior and interior, to the amazing performance aspects, nearly everything about the MazdaSpeed 6 screams of perfection and potential. This is perhaps one of the few cars that comes perfectly tuned and balanced right from the factory.
No matter what purpose one seeks out a MazdaSpeed 6 for, it is unlikely that any will be disappointed. This is doubtlessly one of the best four wheel door sports cars on the market currently, and it may very well be one of the best vehicles that Mazda has ever produced; a sure winner no matter which way one looks at it.