This cobbled-up creature is actually a test mule for the 2008 Mazda 6. Based on a modified CD3 platform - know as CD3-2 - the 2008 Mazda 6 will be sharing the platform with the new Ford Mondeo.

This cobbled-up creature is actually a test mule for the 2008 Mazda 6. Based on a modified CD3 platform – know as CD3-2 – the 2008 Mazda 6 will be sharing the platform with the new Ford Mondeo. Down the line, the CD3-2 is also expected to be the platform for various other future models – including the Jaguar X-Type and new Volvo S60.

Even though some pieces are patched together to accommodate the new and longer (possibly up to 30 mm longer overall) and wider Mazda 6, we can still see clues showing the new front fascia, including honeycomb inserts in the air intakes, large projector-type headlamp clusters. And, it’s very easy to see that that the new 2008 Mazda 6 will be larger than the outgoing model.

The 2008 Mazda 6 will be powered by Ford’s new 250-horsepower 3.5-liter “Cyclone” engine. Other engine offerings may include a 2.5-liter inline-4 powerplant, and all-wheel-drive will be a popular option on all Mazda 6 versions.

A hybrid model will eventually become available, using the same 2.5-liter hybrid engine as the American 2008 Ford Fusion. All three body styles, a sedan, hatchback and wagon, will be offered, as well as a Mazdaspeed for the 2009 model year. Production will take place in Flat Rock, Michigan (for North American models), as well as Japan. Asian production should start a year from now, whereas North American production is expected to begin in June of 2008.

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SPY PHOTOS: New Mazda6