• Diesel-powered Mazda6 delayed until 2014
  • Emissions and certification cited as reasons for delay
  • Mazda says car will arrive in spring 2014

A diesel-powered version of the all-new Mazda6 will reach showrooms in April. That's the latest from Mazda, which said the car's launch was delayed from later this year due to setbacks with emissions testing and certification.

While Mazda wasn't specific on what's delaying the Mazda6 diesel, the brand announced the car's launch was pushed back "to accommodate final emissions testing and certification." That likely means the delay hasn't been with the car itself but rather with government processes to certify it for sale in the U.S.

"I know we had discussed it being in showrooms before the end of the year," wrote Robert Davis, Mazda's senior vice president of U.S. operations, in a letter to employees. "But final certification testing ... is taking longer than we had initially expected."

With the delay, the Mazda6 diesel could officially become a 2015 model, since it won't reach dealers until 2014. For now, though, it's unclear if Mazda will make that change.

What is clear is that the diesel-powered Mazda6 will use a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine. The brand expects the engine will return around 173 horsepower and a whopping 310 lb-ft of torque, which means the car will enjoy strong acceleration for a 4-cylinder.

Of course, it also will enjoy strong gas mileage. Mazda hasn't released numbers yet, but similarly sized diesels see huge fuel economy bumps compared to gas engines. An example is the Volkswagen Passat diesel, which returns 31 miles per gallon city/43 mpg hwy -- a big jump from the base-level engine's 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.

Improved fuel economy numbers will help the Mazda6 do battle in a midsize sedan segment that continues to add high-mpg contenders. New rivals include a plug-in hybrid Honda Accord and an upcoming hybrid Nissan Altima. Those sedans and the diesel-powered Mazda6 will join established rivals such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid.

What it means to you: If the diesel-powered Mazda6 is on your shopping list, you'll have to wait a few more months until you can take it for a spin.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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