I've always wanted to try this, I realize most people do it with smaller cars, but given the good weight distribution and handling, could this be done effectly? I figure with a 5speed you would be able to tear up a course.
What is an Autocross event?
Autocross/Solo II events are low to medium speed auto racing events; they are often run on parking lots and airport runways, although street events and events at Go Kart tracks sometimes take place. Generally a course will be defined using traffic cones. One driver at a time negotiates a course laid out with the cones, or pylons, testing their skill against the clock. Time penalties are charged for disturbing cones. In most regions, the penalty is 2 seconds per cone, although in some places it may be 1 second.
There is an upper speed guideline for Solo II which is intended to keep speeds in a domain that most drivers might have encountered on the streets and highways; the fastest cars at a Solo II should not get much over 70mph.
Generally, each driver takes three or four runs at an event. A driver is awarded the best time of all runs taken.
Replying to Topic 'Could you autocross with a Mazda 6?'
I would think that the 6 would be a good autocrosser in its class. The 17" rims with sport suspension and sport rubber would do well without having to be modified. Probably get the 4 cylinder if you plan to really autoX this thing, as the V6 will probably be a bigger hurt to handling than the advantage it would give in acceleration.
I did my first autocross a month ago in my RSX Type S. I did pretty well and took 4th out of 15 rookies (based on a handicap scale, where our times are normalized against a certain car with a certain driver); but I feel I could have done better with some better rubber. The car comes stock with all season Michelin, and they are horrible for something like autocrossing.
I think the Mazda6 would do quite well. Almost any car does well if you are willing to work and upgrade it, just know the rules for the class you wish to stay in. I've seen some pretty "average" cars just tear it up at the autocross, and I've come away with a little more respect for those cars than I had before.
All in all, I'd say the most impressive autoX cars I've seen (without much modification) are old RX-2 Mazdas, Miatas, old RWD Datsun (nissan); Nissan Sentra SE-R, old VW's (not anything newer than the last 7 years or so, Sciroccos were crazy fast); and Integra/RSX (though behind those listed above); and Dodge Neon. I was really not that impressed with Civics, Accords, Saturn, Toyotas, etc.
It is a blast, and I think in whatever class you'd be placed the 6 would do well. I would almost wonder (without ever having driven a 6) if the 6 with sport package would be faster than my RSX on those crummy tires. I bet it probably would be.