Mazda is getting ready to reveal further model variants on its 626 midsize replacement – the 6 – at the Geneva show. It’s an important model changeover for Mazda.

Mazda’s Mazda 6 development team benchmarked the BMW 3-series, the VW Passat, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. Expectations are high for the new model.

Geneva will mark the European debut of the Mazda6 saloon and sporting Mazda 6 hatchback, which were revealed recently at the Detroit Auto Show, but also the world premiere of the five-door Sport Wagon version.

The company claims that the “Mazda 6 is a completely new car that has been developed to compete as a true ‘driver’s car’ with the best brands from Germany in the important midsize market segment”.

It has been developed as the centre-piece of Mazda’s ‘Zoom-Zoom’ brand strategy and is the first full-scale embodiment of the Mazda brand DNA and the company’s new ’emotion in motion’ design philosophy.

Mazda has also developed a new range of engines, transmissions and drive systems for the Mazda6.

The new four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve petrol engine is available in three displacements: 1.8-litre (88 kW), 2.0-litre (104 kW) and an advanced 2.3-litre (122 kW) with Mazda’s Sequential Valve Timing.

In order to specifically meet European demands, Mazda has also developed an all-new direct-injection 2.0-litre diesel engine with a next-generation common rail system. This will be available in two variants – 88 kW and 100 kW.

Transmissions will be offered in four-speed automatic, five-speed manual and a five-speed ‘Activematic’ form, which supplements automatic operation with a pseudo-manual mode. This Activematic transmission is used in conjunction with an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system which will eventually be available on a special version of the Sport Wagon.

The four-door saloon and five-door hatchback versions of the Mazda 6 go on sale across European markets in petrol engine form during late spring and early summer. The Sport Wagon versions and the diesel engine derivatives will follow later in the year.