You are known. And somehow not. We’re not talking about our own neighbors, but about cars that have remained so inconspicuous that only die-hard fans still know them today. Such models do not necessarily have to have been flops during their lifetime.
But they ran under the average car buyer’s radar. From now on, we want to start at irregular intervals under the title “Do you still know him?” bring many a vintage and youngtimer out of the fog of oblivion.
There are many books on the subject of “brands”, it’s easily enough for a seminar at the university. When is a new brand successful? Automotive history is full of short-lived names. A good 100 years ago, the then GM boss Alfred P. Sloan came up with the idea of inventing additional brands to cover all segments. In a group, the customer could move up, in the case of GM from the cheap Chevrolet to the expensive Cadillac.
But often enough the shot also backfires. At the latest when the new brand is positioned unclearly and actually offers old wine in new bottles. One case is Eunos. Only available in Japan, cars that ran elsewhere in the world than Mazda were sold as supposedly nobler carriages. Basically the Audi from Mazda.
Between 1989 and 1996 there was about the Schlafaugen-323 (BG) as the Eunos 100, the MX-5 became the Eunos Roadster, the MX-3 the Eunos Presso/30X. With the Mazda 626, on the other hand, more effort was put into tailoring a rather chic sedan based on the GE series. The result was the Eunos 500. It came to Europe in 1992, 30 years ago, as the Mazda Xedos 6.
Mazda Xedos 6 and Xedos 9 (vorne)
The thrust was clear from the key data: 4.56 meters long, stylishly drawn and a 2.0-liter V6 (the bigger brother of the 1.8 V6 in the MX-3) with 140 hp under the hood. So the Japanese blew the attack on Audi, BMW and Mercedes. However, not quite consistently, because the press release also referred to the Mazda 626:
“At first glance, the Xedos 6 might be associated with the new 626 V6, but that comparison is only partially accurate. The 626 is a multi-functional car whose strengths lie in its wide range of offerings for sensible buyers. The Xedos 6 turns things around “It’s aimed at those who want a sporty sedan in its own right, with no ifs or buts. Mazda takes up the baton again.”
And further: “Of course, Mazda Germany knows very well that the Xedos 6 only appeals to special groups of buyers. But that’s exactly what we want. Xedos 6 stands out for those who are different, who don’t let their lifestyle be pressed into templates.” Doesn’t that sound like the same thing to you: Actually, we don’t want him at all, but we have to.
With the Xedos 6, Mazda consistently continued the “non-aggression” styling policy that began with the MX-5 and continued with the 121. The “feel good in a pleasant environment” was one of the most important design features. Original sound: “The Xedos 6 should be proof of modern mobility in the 90s, but above all it should underline the sovereignty of its driver.”
After all: With a smooth, round design, a drag coefficient of 0.29 was achieved. And Mazda facts huberte: “Numerous details help to achieve this result: Flush-fitting panes (they only have a 3.5 mm gap to cover) and innovative door seals reduce disturbing air turbulence. The gap dimensions between bumper, doors, hood and body are 15 to 30 Percent narrower than other Mazda models.
One of the little things that add up to great value, for example, are the exterior mirrors. They are different sizes. The one on the left is wider and shows a landscape format image, while the one on the right, which is narrow for reasons of aerodynamics, shows what is happening behind the vehicle in portrait format. Leading edges on the side of the windshield direct the airstream.”
The V6 engine with four valves per cylinder was designed as a short-stroke engine (78.0 mm bore/69.6 mm stroke). Initially, it delivered 144 hp and a maximum torque of 172 Newton meters, later 140 hp and 170 Nm. Mind you: from six cylinders. Nowadays you get the same power from half the cylinders and displacement.
Aerodynamically favored, the maximum speed of the Xedos 6 was 216 km/h (203 km/h with automatic transmission). Standard equipment included air conditioning and alloy wheels. A facelift followed in 1994, and at the same time a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.6 liters and 107 hp lowered the entry-level price. As early as 1993, the Xedos 6 had a big brother with the Xedos 9 (Eunos 800 in Japan) based on the 929.
Mazda built a total of 72,101 Xedos 6 by 1999, around 20,000 units were sold in Germany. After all, because the biggest competitor was not lurking in Stuttgart or Munich, but in the company’s own showroom. There was namely the more powerful (!) Mazda 626 with 2.5-liter V6 and 165 hp. Price in 1995: DM 42,840 compared to DM 44,650 for the Xedos 6. (By the way, the “small” Xedos 6 with four cylinders cost DM 36,990.)
Last but not least, the press blasphemed about the dreary and cramped interior with 323 ambience, the lousy clarity and of course the missing image. Nowadays, the Xedos 6 can be considered an insider tip for youngtimer fans with a V6 inclination.