The diesel version of the 2014 Mazda6 won’t be hitting North American showrooms until the middle of next year, but we won’t have to wait that long to see the car in action. Mazda will enter its midsize sedan in the new Grand-Am GX class with a Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine under the hood, and the car will make its racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 26. This will be the first time in the race’s 60-year history that a diesel-powered car has competed in the 24-hour race.
We first heard about the 2.2-liter turbocharged Skyactiv-D race engine back in June, but we now know it will used in the Mazda6 and we have a little bit better of an idea of power output. Developed in conjunction with SpeedSource, the clean diesel racer is said to produce more than 400 horsepower using many of the same components that will be found on the passenger version of the car.
The newly created GX class will race against the Daytona Prototypes and GT class cars, and its goal is to provide a race class for alternative fuels and technologies. In addition to the Mazda6, the Lotus Evora GX will also compete in the this class, which will be composed of 13 models from 12 automakers – including Audi, Hyundai, Ford and Scion.
Scroll down for Mazda’s press release, and be sure to check out the Grand-Am link for more information.