Mazda has announced that the 2014 Mazda6 will get 40-mpg highway thanks to the company’s i-Eloop regenerative braking system. The 2014 Mazda6 with i-Eloop will be rated at 29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway. 40-MPG will put the 2014 Mazda6 well above most of its competition, even the Toyota Camry Hybrid only gets 39-mpg highway, though it does get 43-mpg city.
The i-Eloop regenerative braking system is similar to the regenerative brakes found in hybrid models like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. The kinetic energy from the brakes is harnessed and stored in batteries or capacitors (which work in a similar way to a battery, storing electricity to be used later) and then used later to assist with fuel economy. The major difference between a hybrid and Mazda’s i-Eloop system is that the Mazda has no electric motor. Instead the Mazda6 uses the electricity to power the car’s normal electronics, which frees up power from the engine that would have been used to run the alternator. This reduces the power needed from the engine and increases fuel economy.
Mazda’s i-Eloop system is only available on the Mazda6 Grand Touring edition in the GT Technology package that also includes active grille shutters, lane departure warning, high beam control and radar cruise control and forward obstruction warning, according to Autoblog. A 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring with the GT Technology package will start at $31,775.