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The Science of Performance: Torque, Horsepower and The New, Turbocharged Mazda6 Sedan

Premium engine performance is only part of the package

2018 Mazda 6 Turbo Sedan

Automakers tend to talk a lot about horsepower and torque. Most people tend to focus more on horsepower but, believe it or not, torque is often more important in ordinary day-to-day driving. So what is torque, and how is it different than horsepower?

As an example of how this all actually works, picture a sprinter getting ready to run a 100-meter dash. As the runner pushes off, powerful leg muscles propel the athlete’s body forward. Each step pushes against the ground to increase the runner’s momentum. That pushing force is like torque from a car’s engine. It’s what gets the car moving and causes acceleration.

Horsepower is a little different. Where torque is like the force provided by leg muscles in each step, horsepower is based on the number of steps the runner can take during the race. Each footstep provides some torque to accelerate or just maintain the runner’s speed. The torque of each step times the amount of steps equals the total amount of horsepower delivered during the race. To put that back into car terms, horsepower describes the engine’s ability to keep the car moving over time and distance. Now that you’ve had your physics lesson for the day, let’s relate it back to the Mazda6.

With an available 310 lb-ft of torque from a very low 2,000 rpm, the Mazda6’s gutsy, turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine makes more torque than most automakers’ turbo-4 or V-6 engines. The result is a sensation of speed, effortless oomph and a sense of the engine always being ready to tackle the next bend. By contrast, many sedans with similar horsepower and less torque need to work much harder—at a much higher engine rpm—to achieve similar results. Mazda6’s engine was designed to be intuitive, performance-oriented and rapid in its mission to provide thrills from behind the wheel.

2018 Mazda 6 Turbo Sedan

Balanced Engine Power

Mazda’s turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine, available in higher-trim models of the Mazda6 midsize sedan, delivers the right balance of torque and horsepower. This engine innovative features like the Mazda-exclusive Dynamic Pressure Turbo, which uses a butterfly valve in the engine’s exhaust to create more pressure, forcing the turbocharger to boost engine performance.

Think of it like holding your thumb over the end of a garden hose. As a result, the Skyactiv-G 2.5T’s turbocharger can create boost pressure almost instantaneously, nearly eliminating turbo lag—a sensation experienced in many turbocharged engines before a turbocharger spools up that provides a lull in power. As a result, the Skyactiv-G 2.5T’s split-second torque helps make driving an utterly effortless, enjoyable experience.

It’s an application of Mazda’s Jinba Ittai—“horse and rider as one”—philosophy, which holds that the car should respond immediately to the driver’s control.

2018 Mazda 6 Turbo SedanSignature Performance and Quality

The Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine has been in Mazda’s lineup since 2016 when it went on sale in the CX-9 crossover SUV, winning the prestigious WardsAuto “10 Best Engines” award, among others. Even in the short time the Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine has been available, it has already been refined and tuned specifically for Mazda6.

The driving experience is complemented by one of the most luxurious interior indulgences ever put into a Mazda vehicle. The interior of the Mazda6 Signature features Nappa leather, UltraSuede and authentic Japanese Sen wood accents. These refinements help make the midsize sedan an executive express that helps put it in a favorable light with much more expensive vehicles in performance and elegance.

With Mazda6 Signature, Mazda is aiming to deliver more than just another car; it’s about providing a sense of occasion with every drive. Mazda have always been known for how its cars and crossover SUVs drive. Now, with an opulent, new interior and heaps of torque, Mazda’s promise of premium becomes that much more prominent.