The 2006 MAZDASPEED6 (known as Mazdaspeed Atenza in Japan and Mazda 6 MPS in Europe and Australia) is a high-performance version of the Mazda 6. It features a turbocharged version of the 2.3 L MZR I4 which produces 272 PS (200 kW) (European version is detuned to 260 PS (191 kW); the North American version, at 274 hp (204 kW), is more powerful). This 2.3 L DISI turbocharged engine features direct fuel injection and conforms to the new Euro 5 emissions standards. It has a revised front fascia with a raised hood, a 6-speed manual transmission, and all-wheel drive. The all wheel drive system uses Mazda's Active Torque Split computer-based control which routes up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels depending on driving conditions. Mazda currently has no plans to enter the car into rally racing, and the Mazdaspeed Atenza could be meant to compete with its Japanese-made rival, the Subaru Legacy GT and similar sport sedans like the rally-car-derived Subaru Impreza WRX STi and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Originally scheduled to be launched in June 2005, the Mazdaspeed Atenza was delayed until November. In North America, the MAZDASPEED 6 comes in two trim levels; the "Sport" trim with cloth interior and standard key entry and ignition; and the "Grand Touring" trim with leather interior, keyless entry/ignition, and an optional DVD navigation. Automatic climate control is standard, as is a 200 W Bose stereo system featuring seven speakers and a subwoofer in addition to an in-dash six-disc CD changer. A sunroof with moonroof feature is optional on the Grand Touring trim.
Although Mazda estimates 0-60 mph times to be 6.2 seconds, recent independent tests by automotive journalists have suggested that the actual numbers might range between 5.4-6.0 seconds (with DSC deactivated).