Mazda is taking the opportunity presented by the arrival of its new 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, with a choice of three different power outputs, to introduce some specification upgrades and an additional diesel hatchback model to its Mazda6 range.

The expanded 26-strong line-up for 2009 goes on sale in January.

A safety boost is being provided for Mazda6 drivers with the introduction of Mazda’s lane-change ‘Rear Vehicle Monitoring System’ – as standard on 15 models, from TS2 upwards.

The new safety feature detects and warns the driver of an approaching vehicle before they have a chance to move across into a busy lane by mistake. The system uses wide-angle, 24 GHz microwave radar units on the right and left side of the rear bumper to cover both sides of the car within a range of 50 metres. At speeds over 40mph, microwaves are emitted which reflect off following vehicles, including motorcycles, and are picked up by the system’s receivers. Depending on the approaching vehicle’s distance and speed relative to the speed of the Mazda6, the system will illuminate the ‘proximity indicator light’ at the base of each A-pillar’s interior trim.