Tokyo Motor Show 2011: Mazda Takeri previews its next midsize sedan


In the slugfest for American midsize sedan buyers, Mazda has always been a bench player, out-sized and out-hustled by big players like the Honda Accord sedan and the Toyota Camry. If the Mazda Takeri concept dependably forecasts how the 2013 Mazda6 sedan will look and perform, Mazda could get back in the game.

While the current generation of Mazda6 borrows liberally from the Ford parts bin per the now-ended arrangement between the two companies, the Takeri suggests how Mazda will design its own cars, capturing the flowing lines and new grille of the CX-5 sport utility vehicle.

Power from the Takeri comes from a 2.2-liter diesel motor tied to a six-speed automatic. As with the CX-5 introduced earlier this month, Mazda chose efficiency over power, stocking the Takeri with a stop-start system and regenerative braking that gives the Takeri a range of 952 miles on a single tank of fuel.

It's likely that the U.S. version will get a gasoline engine at launch, but even so Mazda may make a strong argument for arriving in style -- even if it means taking a little longer.