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Ocramida, I'm surprised nobody's responded to your post. You've answered the key question we've been asking for months on this thread. My dealer also confirmed that there will be a 2017.5 model year. I've known about it for about a month now, and have seen a draft version of the order guide, but promised not to share it. Since dealers can't order the 2017 models anymore, it's a clear indication that the 2017.5s will be coming out shortly. They could arrive any day, but from what I've been told, Mazda Corporate is holding off on announcing/launching the 2017.5s until dealer inventories of the 2017 Mazda 6 are down to manageable levels. I'd expect the official announcement to come out sometime in late August to end of September.
Knowing that there will actually be a 2017.5 model year, and triangulating that against what's been happening in Mazda's product portfolio, allows us to infer a lot of useful insights:
1. Launching a 2017.5 this late in CY2017 says it's going to be a shortened model year (i.e., the 2018 model will likely come out (or at least be announced) in the first half of calendar 2018. Otherwise they would have just called this one a 2018 model. I suppose one could argue that they'll skip MY18 and go directly to announcing the 2019, but if that was going to be the case, again they could have called this one a 2018 model)
2. This is the last year of the current gen Mazda 6 body (i.e., if you want the gen 3 design, get one soon).
3. From the order guide I've seen, only minor changes are in store for 2017.5. It's essentially a carry over year with only a handful of feature updates at each trim level. I'm excited about the two key enhancements for the Touring spec, because they'll address the only two features I'd be giving up from my current daily driver. If you're not excited about the 2017.5 updates, you can get a great deal on a left-over 2017.
4. The next substantial upgrade to the 6 platform is likely coming in late spring or early next summer. Watch for heavy incentive discounts on 2017 and 2017.5 models for a telling clue that they're clearing the decks to launch the 2018s. I noticed Mazda increased the incentives on the 2017 6 about a month ago, and in retrospect, that was a telling clue that the 2017.5 was waiting in the wings.
Based on the news coming out of Japan, I'd speculate the next gen Mazda 3 to be launched next Spring, followed by the next gen 6 three to six months later. The 3 is a more important model for Mazda than the 6, so it would make sense for that to be the first model to get the new styling and drivetrain updates. The HCCI engine and design concept for the next 3 is rumored to be launched at the Tokyo Auto Show later this fall. That will give us even more clues about what to anticipate in the next gen 6.
Last edited by TitaniumVT; 08-07-2017 at 12:58 PM.