Last night we were invited out to a special event at Mazda USA’s R&D facility in Irvine. We weren’t told what the purpose of the event was before hand but it was hinted that it would have something to do with Mazda’s new “G-Vectoring” system. Well, upon arriving (and being greeted by Mazda’s new retractable hard-top MX-5 at the door) we witnessed several vehicles covered in sheets flanked by several classic Mazda models like a ’67 rotary-powered Cosmo and the rare ’88 Turbo AWD 323 GTX.
As we wolfed down delicious bacon burgers (our pinkies up all the while) we chatted with our colleagues and other industry friends as to what Mazda was getting ready to reveal. Shortly after 7pm the sheets were pulled off the vehicles placed center-stage and the questions were answered. The attendees got the first look at the 2017 Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 respectively. Both cars sported new but subtle styling refreshes and were the first examples of a new luxury philosophy referred to as “Mazda Premium”.
On the outside both the 3 and the 6 wear a slightly redesigned front fascia in which the front grill appears to be slightly widened and houses a new chromed “wing” piece. The Mazda emblem and license plate mounts have been moved lower to further accentuate the cars low center of gravity.
During the presentation it was explained that Mazda Premium is about improving the driving experience not only for the driver but for the passengers as well. This essentially equates to creating more space in the interior and using higher quality materials like Napa leather. To improve space the traditional hand-brake has been replaced with an electronic unit which frees up the center console area immensely.
What about the G-Vectoring Control system? G-Vectoring Control (or GVC) is a new torque management system developed by Mazda as part of their SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS program and will make its debut in the 2017 Mazda 3 and Mazda 6. GVC works by generating deceleration G’s using the engine’s torque while the driver is turning. The purpose of this is to increase stability during cornering by sending grip to the appropriate wheel at the right moments through a turn. Obviously we didn’t get a chance to try this out but it sounds like a great way to instill more confidence in the driving experience. Hopefully we’ll get a test drive soon!
In the meantime, feel free to click on the image thumbnails for larger pictures from the event.