New 2014 Mazda 6 previewed at February luncheon

By Paul Borden - March 1 , 2013


Over 40 members and guests gathered at the Rusty Pelican for SAMA’s February luncheon, which, because of scheduling issues, actually was on March 1.

Mazda was the sponsor and brought its 2014 Mazda6 sedan, which has received an extreme makeover as it enters its third generation, to preview.

The Japanese automaker is moving the 6 in the direction of more premium content and features but without increasing MSRP, Product Planning Manager David Dilby said in his presentation.

Dilby said this is to provide more separation between the company’s popular Mazda3 hatchback and sedan and the 6, which is the company’s flagship vehicle.

The task assigned designers and engineers was to giv the 6 more premium content and give it a more distinctive, sophisticated, luxurious, and prestigious air not just to give it separation from the 3 but from its competitors in the large midsize sedan segment as well.

And to keep pricing within the $20,000-to-$30,000 range as well, which is about the same bracket of its primary competitors, the Honda Accord, Nissan Optima, and VW Passat, along with the fast-rising Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata and the traditional class leader, the Toyota Camry.

Accordingly, MSRP for the 6 runs from $20,980 for the Sport with a manual transmission to $29,495 for the top-of-the-line Grand Touring model.

The 6 has been on sale since January to good response, Dilby said, but a significant change is coming later in the year that could provide a boost in numbers.

Currently, the only power train available for the 6 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated with either a manual or automatic transmission.

The plan is to introduce a diesel engine in late fall that will result in slightly less horsepower (and estimated 162 for diesel to 184 in the gas engine) but significantly more torque (an estimated 310 pound-feet up from 185, respectively) and fuel savings.

The four-cylinder is rated at 26 mpg city and a class-leading 38 highway. Estimated figures for the diesel are 30/42.

With V6 engines dipping in popularity because of fuel economy concerns, the diesel may be the answer for those seeking the kind of power a V6 delivers but with fuel numbers that are even better than what four-cylinders deliver.

Dilby’s presentation covered a multitude of other features about the 6 which are available on a USB provided luncheon attendees or on the Mazda media website (www.media.mazda.com).

President Jaime Florez conducted the business session before Mazda’s presentation.

Paul Borden announced that the date for the third annual Topless in Miami convertible competition will be Thursday, June 6, at the Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne. Be sure to mark your calendars and plan for a busy day that will culminate in the awards banquet that night.

Jaime noted that we are looking for auto-related companies that may be interested in sponsoring various activities surrounding the event, including the banquet itself. If any member has any leads in that regard or a client who may be interested in a sponsorship, please contact Jaime or one of the other officers.

More details will be forthcoming.

Vice President Bill Adam announced that plans for the annual Rides-N-Smiles event at Homestead-Miami Speedway are moving along. An even bigger participation by Wounded Warriors is expected this year.

The date for the event is Nov. 23, which is the weekend after the NASCAR Ford Championship weekend at the track and before Thanksgiving.

Another significant date coming up is April 5-6-7 when the annual Florida Car Marathon honchoed by members Daniel Romagnoli and Daniel Alvarez. For more information, visit www.floridacarmarathon.com.

Treasure Marcello Serrato said this has been the fastest year ever as far as the response of members paying their dues, so that is very much appreciated. Taxes for 2012 also have been done.

More good news: We have nearly filled the entire calendar with sponsors for monthly lunches with the exception of March, and Macello is working on that. (Remember, the March 1 meeting technically was the February luncheon!)

Marcello, who also serves as membership chairman, announced that eight new members have been added to our group. They are Joe Alberto Suarez of NBC-6, Elliot Wachman of Miami International Auto Show/Regal Show Services, Sergio Rodriguez of ESPN/La Republica, Sebastian Benzoni of Garage TV, Cameron Lesesne of In Focus Magazine, and Luis Gonzalez Jr., Leon Gonzalez, and Isabel Gonzalez of Automovilisonline.

To end on a special note, our meeting happened to coincide with Luis Gonzalez-Lalondry’s 79th birthday! Naturally, he was greeted with the traditional signing of Happy Birthday! Luis has been one of our most supportive and loyal member.

We want to thank Mazda’s David Dilby and, of course, Tamara Mlynarczyk, for sponsoring the event and for bringing the beautiful new Mazda6 here not only for a close look but also for the brief driving opportunity.

Please watch your email for notification of our next meeting later this month. Hope to see you then!
 

 

 

 

Photos & Videos by Pepe Delfino - Click on photos to enlarge