Mazda Motor Corp.'s introduction of the all-new Mazda6, which replaces the 626, portends a fresh direction for the Japan-based auto maker, says a Mazda North American Operations spokesman. Expect to see more “alpha-numeric” identifiers that prominently feature the auto maker's name.

Mazda already has acquired exclusive North American rights to the names Mazda 1 through Mazda 9, WAW has learned. Sources say there exists within Mazda a proposal to use name-and-number combinations, in ascending order, to reflect vehicle segmentation: the higher the number, the more exclusive the product.

We at WAW have a few suggestions of our own — say, the Mazda Square Root or the Mazda Cubed. Since 1 to 9 is already taken, we're sure the next high-performance Mazda will be known as the 3.14159.