MAZDA could break into new price territory with its much anticipated 6 MPS, which could be a more upmarket, luxury-infused model that sells in excess of $60,000.
The flagship model of its 6 mid-sized car would be designed to boost the breadth of the range and could be priced 20 percent higher – or more – than the current $50,920 range-topper. It would be the most expensive Mazda sedan sold in Australia since the 929, which reached $84K in 1995.
A turbocharged MPS performance version is understood to be the favoured option, but Mazda has flagged the idea of a diesel MPS that would be unique in the medium segment.
Speaking at the launch of the updated 6, program manager Hideki Matsuoka confirmed the company was actively discussing a 6 MPS – but that work had not begun.
“We are just thinking,” said Matsuoka. “It’s difficult to define what is an MPS for this vehicle … if customer expects more power or more luxury or more sporty.
Mazda has begun working on a 3 MPS, with the model likely to make a motor show appearance before the end of the year.
It’s expected to share a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with the upcoming Mazda CX-9, which could also break cover this year and be powered by a four-cylinder turbo instead of a V6.
However, it’s unclear whether a 6 MPS would power all four wheels – as it has done in its only previous iteration – or whether it would follow the expected front-drive path of the Mazda 3 MPS.
Matsuoka also flagged the idea of focusing more on luxury than performance for the Mazda flagship.
“Normally a gasoline turbocharger is the ordinary process to improve MPS power – I’m not sure that is the correct way for new Mazda 6,” he said.
“Other options are to add some luxury … for this vehicle. We need a more sophisticated feel for this vehicle. Not only more torque or more power, but also make sure the feeling [is more sporty and refined].”
He also hinted that a higher performance diesel – improving on the 129kW and 420Nm from the current 2.2-litre turbo-diesel – was an option for a top-shelf 6: “That is one alternative.”
Matsuoka agreed that Mazda could do a rare second mid-life update for the third-generation 6, given the traditional facelift that’s just gone on sale was brought forward to usher in new technology and design themes.
“Yes, of course, we have to consider that,” he said when asked if the current 6 could get another model update.
“It depends on the segment circumstances for the competitors. On this vehicle you have much improved because this is the flagship. We have to introduce the latest technologies.”
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.
Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!