In the early 90s, Japanese manufacturers were desperate to shed their tired old image of reliable but incredibly boring cars, which with some exceptions, was appropriate enough. Toyota created Lexus, and everybody laughed at them until people clued in that they were eating Mercedes for breakfast. Nissan had similar if not as spectacular success with Infinity. The point is that these manufacturers created something new, and it worked. Mazda was anxious to get in the game, and ‘developed’ the Xedos. The first model, the 1992 Xedos 6 was introduced with much fanfare but few sales in Europe, after the whole North American launch had been cancelled, at ruinous expense.
It’s not that the Xedos 6 wasn’t a good car; it was. It was powered by an excellent 2-liter, 24-valve V6 engine, producing 146 horsepower, and could reach a top speed of 131 mph, and accelerate to 60 in 9 seconds. Design and style-wise, it was rumored that the Xedos 6 had been meant to be a Ford, but was modified by Mazda designers, but it wasn’t proven.
The problem with the 1992 Xedos 6 is that, as the old saying goes ‘you can fool some people all the time, or all people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people, all the time”. The unfortunate truth was that mechanically speaking, Mazda had put lipstick on a pig with the Xedos 6; it was nothing more than an ordinary Mazda 626 with new skin and a fancy new dashboard. People found out, didn’t like it, and despite its new look and nice engine, it didn’t work. Production of the Xedos 6 and its big brother, the 9, ceased in 2000.