The Mazda 626 was fashionable however not the place you’d anticipate
The Mazda 626 is now not with us. The final time you would’ve purchased a brand new 626 was manner again in 2002 so you would argue it’s considerably irrelevant, simply one other curvy sedan from the ’90s that tries to cross as mildly luxurious through some faux wooden trim inside and a few cozy seats that just about provide the impression you’re in one thing German.
In truth, the most important trick that the 626 ever pulled was to cosplay as a German sedan or, slightly, a unusual different and Germans themselves purchased it. Tons of it. Over 4 (4) million 626s have been offered in Germany alone.
Again within the ’70s when Mazda first launched the Capella, the Japanese noticed match to supply it with both quite a lot of desaturated inline-fours raging from a 1.4-liter unit all the best way as much as a 1.8-liter unit, neither placing out greater than 100 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque, or the 12A/12B rotaries. The latter was mentioned to ship 130 horsepower which made the Capella (offered because the ’RX-2’ overseas when the Wankel was put in) a extra sporty possibility in comparison with Nissan’s Bluebird. However then got here the oil disaster of the ’70s and Mazda’s highly effective however insatiable rotaries took a tumble.
Whereas the corporate caught with Wankel know-how for a lot of extra many years – as an act of defiance of the auto business if nothing else – the second-gen Capella, offered because the 626 overseas (the first-gen mannequin was often known as the 616 overseas when outfitted with the four-bangers), was solely obtainable with quite a lot of piston engines. Thus, the aptitude, you would argue, was gone. The Mazda 626 grew to become a part of the institution. However not fairly.
You see, Mazda at all times strived to make its automobiles a tad much less boring and a tad sportier than the opposition and this remained at the very least considerably true even with the fifth-gen mannequin that was in the marketplace between 1991 and 1997
Whereas there was no such factor as a Mazdaspeed model on the time, the range-topping 626 V6 as seen within the RCR video was fairly peppy. The KL-series 2.5-liter V-6 put out 164 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque in American-bound automobiles placing it virtually on par with the 170 horsepower C27A 2.7-liter V-6 provided on the time within the Honda Accord.
What the Mazda received going for it was value, the 626 V6 at all times being the cheaper different to the Accord V6, and pundits stored saying again within the day that it was a “sporty different”. Mr. Common finds little of that sporty nature however, then once more, the GE-generation 626 he drove was outfitted with the four-speed automated and, furthermore, the ’91-’97 626 was greater than all of its predecessors, successfully an all-new automobile underpinned by Mazda’s GE platform.
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