Hello, readers. I am Aaron Telitz, professional race car driver and Ambassador for Morrie’s Automotive Group. I recently had the opportunity to take one of the new turbocharged Mazda 6’s out to Brainerd International Raceway for an event with Morrie’s. I feel that one of the best ways to really get a good feel for the quality of a vehicle is to take it for a lap at a race track. You get to feel what the car does when it gets near it’s limit. And that’s where you find out how good it really is. Almost every car company can make a car that adequately drives down the freeway but not every car company can make you feel more alive and a part of the car itself quite like Mazda can.
The first thing you notice when sitting in a Mazda is the way their seats are designed to “hug” you, and how the wheel nearly feels molded to you, whether you hold it at 10-2 or 9-3. That’s because Mazda knows that to make a great car you need to focus on the details! The Mazda 6 might just be a mid-sized sedan on paper but you wouldn’t know it sitting behind the wheel on the track.
For 2018 Mazda made their turbocharged 2.5L SKYACTIV engine available in the Mazda 6. Horsepower increased from 187 to 250! Torque went from 186 ft/lbs to 310 ft/lbs! This gave the Mazda 6 that extra boost that many customers were looking for (myself included). It was pretty fun to hear the reaction from passengers on hot laps about how they couldn’t believe how fast the car could accelerate. And from the driver’s seat I have to say Mazda did everything right with this engine. There is no “lag” when sport mode is turned on. The car goes exactly when you tell it to!
With 310 ft/lbs of torque you might expect a front wheel drive car to have a pretty serious torque steer problem. That’s not the case at all with the Mazda 6. The wheel tracks true even under heavy acceleration. While we’re on the topic of Mazda breaking front wheel drive stereotypes let’s talk about handling.
The Mazda 6 loves attacking corners. It has an excellent balance. Most front wheel drive cars would understeer right off the track if you really tried to attack a corner. The Mazda 6 just keeps asking for more! It has a confidence inspiring feel when going around corners that any driver can enjoy. The most commonly heard phrase after giving a hot lap was “I can’t believe how well this thing goes around corners!”. Mazda has been hitting the nail on the head with their handling for years and the 2018 Mazda 6 is no exception.
The Mazda 6 checked all the boxes for me during our track day. Good power, quick acceleration, and great handling. And the best part of this track day was packing up. There wasn’t any. I just got in my Mazda 6 and drove off into the sunset.