Mazda 6: Six Plus
The company “Mazda” has always had in the model range any extraordinary car with a pronounced sports orientation. Suffice it to recall the rotary RX-7 and RX-8 or Xedos sedan, “grown” from the standard 626th model. It is not surprising that a similar fate touched the now-popular “six”, which received a “charged” version with the MPS index.
My first acquaintance with the Mazda6 MPS took place back in February at the Tushino airfield. The day was sunny and frosty.
Due to the rather low temperature, the snow covered with a crust on which there were practically no traces of tires. Even then it became clear that the Mazda6 MPS – the original car. He demonstrated excellent dynamics and excellent handling on a snowy road. At the same time, the “charged” version of the “six” did not at all claim to be a rally car, remaining the same practical family sedan, designed for everyday use. Mazda6 MPS was simple, understandable and, especially impressed, safe in motion. Actually, the design of the car is not replete with artsy sportiness. No, of course, the developers still added a certain aggressiveness to the body of the standard sixth Mazda model, but they did it without too much fanaticism. “Sharpened” for the sake of aerodynamics bumper with integrated “foglights”, a powerful “cellular” grille and a modest fender on the trunk lid. Naturally, there is also a body kit (rather “cultural”), and two exhaust pipes in the corners of the “stern”. First of all, rather 18-inch 15-spoke cast wheels, covered with wide wings, are striking the eye. Later you notice that the hood of the car is also different – it is 40 mm higher than the standard one. A more detailed study revealed that the “charged” sixth Mazda model has undergone significant bodywork – to give it greater rigidity at certain points in the design, the engineers “implanted” additional amplifiers. For example, the transverse stretch is hidden behind the backs of the rear seats, which is why they do not recline here and there is even no special window for the transport of long-length vehicles. By the way, the volume of the trunk of the MPS decreased by 50 liters compared to the usual “six” due to lack of space for the rear axle, because the all-wheel drive car. And this fact largely explains the steady behavior of the car on the road. After all, the intelligent system independently redistributes the torque between the front and rear axles, depending on the state of the road surface and traffic conditions. The control unit selects one of three transmission modes: “standard”, “sport” or “winter”. In the first, most of the time is supplied to the front wheels, the other two divide it in half, giving the corresponding effort to the rear. And the moments when the clutch connects the rear-wheel drive, almost do not feel that especially manifested itself on the snowy road. Although the predictability of the behavior of MPS is largely explained by the presence of its standard DSC stabilization system, which also operates gently and unobtrusively. The car implicitly performs all the commands: you drive up to a turn, brake, put the car into a skid and again “step in” on the gas …
But spring has finally come, and the opportunity has appeared to test the Mazda6 MPS on dry pavement. This is where we fully managed to feel the work of the turbocharged MZR 2.3 DISI engine installed under the hood of the Six. Here it is aggregated with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and therefore there are practically no side effects from all kinds of “automata” there. The motor allows the driver to do anything on the road, of course, in the framework of the traffic rules. Excellent stock of traction, the absence of any “turbojam” – the turbine comes into operation already at 2000 rev / min. A heavy sedan literally pulls away at the slightest pressure on the gas pedal. Just need to get used to a kind of clutch – at the time of operation the pedal is actively pushed out and requires some effort from the driver. The very same box works well, like a bolt of a debugged sniper rifle. However, in the extreme acceleration you notice that between the second and third gears an extended interval of gear ratios – even if at the second stage you “unscrew” the engine to the limiter by 7000 rpm, the third one slightly “fails”. At the same time on the fifth acceleration of the car crazy.
Driving the Mazda6 MPS is pretty easy – the steering wheel is sharp and informative. The car is superbly listened to the “donut” and willingly “tumble” in steep turns, without requiring prior training from the driver. Although with fast taxiing you can notice a small step on the effort that needs to be overcome. But the gambling nature of the “six” eliminates all the minor flaws of the design, as it forces us to concentrate on the road so as not to slip through the desired turn, carried away by speed.