Mazda’s Chinese joint venture has published a couple of teasers for a new electric sedan it plans to reveal at this year’s Beijing motor show – could it be a new-generation Mazda 6?

    Changan Mazda is readying a new model for the major Chinese motor show, one of three new electrified models the joint venture plans to release in the domestic market, following on from the CX-50 Hybrid.

    According to overseas reports, this new model headed for Beijing is an electric sedan understood to be a successor to the current Mazda 6. The teasers point to a restyled version of the existing SL03 electric sedan from Changan’s Deepal brand.

    Mazda has recently trademarked the name ‘6e’ in Europe, and EZ-6 in China, further fuelling speculation that this new model will replace the ageing current-generation Mazda 6, which was first revealed in 2012.

    It’s unclear whether the Mazda 6e and EZ-6 are versions of the same vehicle or two completely different models. Given Changan Mazda – like most Chinese joint ventures – primarily develops vehicles for the Chinese market, it could be either scenario.

    The joint venture recently confirmed it’s looking to actively promote the export of vehicles produced in China, while also researching overseas cooperation opportunities with other carmakers.

    Based on Changan Mazda’s product teaser at the launch of the CX-50 HEV at last year’s Shanghai motor show, the new sedan for China is set to also offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

    The Deepal SL03 offers a range-extender version which utilises a 1.5-litre petrol engine, an electric motor and two available lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery packs produced in-house by Changan New Energy.

    Mazda currently offers a range extender in the form of the MX-30 R-EV, which operates as a series hybrid rather than a parallel hybrid much like the Deepal SL03.

    The 55kW 830cc rotary engine in the MX-30 R-EV solely generates charge for the 125kW/260Nm electric motor rather than directly driving the wheels. Claimed electric range is 85km from a 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery.

    Where the EZ-6 is potentially a restyled Changan Deepal product, the Mazda 6e for Europe and other international markets – if it’s a separate vehicle – could be one of the first vehicles to be based on the Japanese company’s new SkyActiv Scalable EV Architecture.

    Mazda is set to roll out this architecture between 2025 and 2030.

    The company has already confirmed “several products” will be launched on its new dedicated EV architecture by the end of the decade, alongside a slew of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models due to be launched on the SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture.

    Further details will likely be communicated in the lead-up to the Auto China event in Beijing, which kicks off on April 25. Stay tuned to CarExpert for our coverage.

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    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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