The Mazda Sentia was a large rear wheel drive luxury car sold in Japan in the 1990s. It replaced the Mazda Luce nameplate on the Mazda H platform cars for Japan in 1991 and was retired in 1999 after two generations.
The Sentia has been developed with the future Mazda flagship, the Amati 1000 in mind. Anticipating that The Amati would take over the role of formal-use vehicles (i.e. chauffeur-driven transport for executives) in the product line, the first Sentia is considerably geared towards private owners in its focus. This is very evident in its Jaguar-inspired stance, relatively low roofline, as well as using more of its dimensions for styling as opposed to improving interior space.
The Sentia was marketed by Mazda as having a "front midship" layout: the V6 engine sits behind the front axle, while the fuel tank rests above the rear axle. This iteration of the Sentia also debuted Mazda's speed-sensitive four-wheel steering system. At speeds of lower than 35kph, the rear wheels steer in an opposite (toe out) direction from the front wheels, in order to reduce the turn radius. At higher speeds they steer in the toe in direction to improve stability.
Solar ventilation system is a setup where amorphous solar cells in the sunroof panel powers small ventilation fans located in the trunk area, in order to cool the cabin while the car's parked in the sun. This setup would later be found on the Eunos800/Millenia.
There are two engines available. Both have their roots in prior Mazda V6s, and have no relation to the aluminum KL series found in the 626-platformed Mazdas. The 3-liter JE-ZE receives a new variable intake manifold to boost its power rating to 200PS. The 2.5-liter J5-DE is also available, rated at 160PS.
The 1995 Sentia used Mazda's updated HE platform, and was the last large RWD sedan from Mazda.
The mechanical underpinnings are largely carried over from the previous Sentia. The exterior and interior received a mild redesign to make the car more stately, and suitable for formal corporate use. This includes a larger grille, taller roofline for improved rear headroom, as well as large expanses of woodgrain panelling. Some sources have said that the car incorporates a number of styling cues from the stillborn Amati 1000.
The advertising campaign featured Sean Connery saying the car is "...striking!".
The second-generation Sentia drops the 2.5-liter engine, and uses the 3-liter unit in two different tuning for 200PS and 160PS respectively.