Mazda Takeri

22 Feb, 2012 2:00pm Damion Smy

We hit the road in the bold concept that points to the next Mazda 6


The production version of the new 6 is due to be revealed at September’s Paris Motor Show, so we’ll have to wait until after then for a full drive. But family buyers are in for a treat, with the great looks inside and out and sporty new front-wheel-drive chassis. Plus, it should be one of the class’s most efficient cars.
Mazda is gearing up to take on the BMW 3 Series and Ford Mondeo with its latest family car. This is the Takeri – a striking four-door concept that previews the new 6. It’s due next year, and Auto Express has driven it.

The newcomer should really stand out: the wheelbase is longer than on the current 6, while the windscreen is further back and has a more acute angle.

Tone down the concept car’s wing mirrors, 20-inch alloys and their hand-cut slick tyres, plus some of the elaborate detailing in the front and rear LED lights, and what you’re looking at is essentially the new 6.

Sitting in the Takeri is like being in a hi-tech lounge. Lower yourself into the well sculpted, tan-coloured seats and you’re greeted by a stunning dashboard layout. Mazda has clearly focused on fit and finish, with top-quality, luxurious surfaces throughout.

Gorgeous backlit dials and an ornate gearlever continue the sharp-edged design theme of the exterior, with a rhombus-shaped centre infotainment display.

But it’s what’s under the skin that really counts. Mazda’s European design boss, Peter Birtwhistle, describes the Takeri as an “envelope” for the highly efficient new SkyActiv drivetrain and chassis technology. The production 6 will offer a 148bhp 2.2-litre SkyActiv diesel and six-speed transmission that are already proven in the CX-5 SUV.

Expect the 6 to emit around 109g/km of CO2 and offer a range of up to 1,000 miles, due to the use of the company’s i-stop stop-start technology and i-Eloop regenerative braking. What is the Takeri like to drive, though? Well, the steering wheel feels chunky and the driving position is superb.

That brilliant panoramic glass roof makes the car feel spacious and airy, even for a six-footer. We couldn’t drive it very quickly – it’s a priceless concept and isn’t meant to do anything more strenuous than sit on a show stand – but it felt surprisingly agile.

The production model is expected to offer a similarly sporty driving experience to the current 6, but with even greater comfort and refinement. And our short time at the wheel bodes well for the car’s chances.

Key specs

* Price: From £16,000 (est)
* Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 148bhp
* Transmission: Six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
* 0-60/top speed: 9.5s/130mph (est)
* Economy/CO2: 62mpg/109g/km (est)
* Equipment: Sat-nav, Bluetooth, lane-keeping assist, auto city braking, dual-zone climate control
* On sale: March 2013