Posts Tagged ‘skyactiv’

Mazda delays US launch of Skyactiv-D engine

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 9th, 2014

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Mazda SkyActiv engine

Japanese automakers haven’t lead the charge towards diesel power in the same way as, say, the Germans have. But Mazda is out to change that. It has been following Audi’s lead on the racetrack with oil-burning racecars right here in America, and will soon translate that excitement to the road by introducing its Skyactiv-D engine in North America. It just won’t happen as soon as we expected.

Mazda announced today that, while its diesel engine meets current emissions requirements, the company has decided once again to push back an introduction originally slated to kick off in the Spring. According to the brief statement below, Mazda wants to take more time to find “the right balance between fuel economy and Mazda-appropriate driving performance.”

In other words, the Zoom-Zoom brand apparently thinks its diesel engine doesn’t deliver the zoom-zoom American drivers would expect, so we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. Details to follow closer to launch, whenever that will ultimately take place.

Continue reading Mazda delays US launch of Skyactiv-D engine

Mazda delays US launch of Skyactiv-D engine originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 09 Jan 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda hard at work on Skyactiv 2 engine technology

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 9th, 2014

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As Mazda continues the current rollout of its still-new Skyactiv technology, the automaker is already looking at improving its family of engines for even better fuel economy and emissions reductions. Automotive News reports that with stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations planned for 2020 and 2025 in Europe, Mazda will likely release engines with next-generation Skyactiv 2 technology by the end of this decade, and Skyactiv 3 units just five years later.

The latter is expected to focus on improved engine cooling and lessening energy losses, but the big news in AN’s report is that the next-gen Skyactiv 2 engines will use Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition, or HCCI. This type of ignition is very similar to how a diesel engine operates (with high compression and using the compression stroke for fuel combustion rather than spark plugs), a method said to provide a cleaner and more efficient fuel burn – to the tune of a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to current Skyactiv engines. Other automakers, including Hyundai, have already announced they are developing HCCI powerplants with similar technology and characteristics, so Mazda likely won’t be a lone wolf here.

Equipped with HCCI technology, Mazda figures to be able to compete with larger automakers in terms of fuel economy and emissions without resorting to hybrid powertrains, continuously variable transmissions or automatics relying on more forward gears (eight or more) for optimal efficiency. Some of the challenges of HCCI, according to AN, include the need for better engine cooling, risk of misfire at high and low rpm and uneven engine performance based on fuel properties.

Mazda hard at work on Skyactiv 2 engine technology originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept shown in Japan

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 21st, 2013

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Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called “Axela” in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.

The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid is fuel consumption estimated at something like 74 miles per gallon.

Mazda thinks that CNG-powered vehicles are due for an uptick in demand, and the company believes this new powertrain will add valuable breadth to the Mazda3 range. The CNG Concept is actually a duel-fuel vehicle, capable of running on either natural gas or gasoline. In fact, we’re told that the high compression ratio (14:1) inherent in Skyactiv-technology gasoline engines makes conversion to CNG particularly simple.

Perhaps more interesting is the unveiling of Mazda’s first-ever hybrid powertrain, aptly named Skyactiv-Hybrid. The new system, which is only slated for the Japanese market at this point, connects an electric motor to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, using it to assist at low engine speeds and under low-load conditions. The electric motor is supplied by a nickel-metal hydride battery of unstated capacity.

The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid in the Mazda3 is fuel consumption estimated at 3.2 liters per 1,000 kilometers on the lenient Japanese cycle, or something like 74 miles per gallon, and total system output of around 134 horsepower (136 PS).

You’ll find slightly more information about the Skyativ-Hybrid and the Skyativ-CNG Concept in the press release below.

Continue reading Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept shown in Japan

Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept shown in Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda returning to top-tier racing with diesel-powered prototype in USCC

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 15th, 2013

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Mazda Skyactiv-D USCC Prototype

Mazda has unveiled its latest challenger in the top flight of endurance racing, a diesel-powered prototype that will campaign the inaugural, 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship. The new Skyactiv-D-powered car will make its race debut at January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“This is the most significant step Mazda has taken towards returning to the global racing stage since our overall victory at Le Mans in 1991,” said the director of Mazda Motorsports, John Doonan. That historic racecar, the rotary-powered 787B, has grown to become one of Mazda’s many, well-known racers.

More recently, the Japanese brand has been making waves in the Grand-Am series, campaigning RX-8s and, most recently, running diesel-powered Mazda6 sedans in the GX-class. Mazda will campaign two factory-backed prototypes at Daytona. Driver lineups will be announced closer to race day.

Take a look below for a press release from Mazda on its latest racing effort.

Continue reading Mazda returning to top-tier racing with diesel-powered prototype in USCC

Mazda returning to top-tier racing with diesel-powered prototype in USCC originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda3 to showcase CNG, Hybrid versions in Tokyo

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 23rd, 2013

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2014 Mazda3

Mazda has made huge gains in its competitive set with the introduction of its Skyactiv technologies, and the Japanese automaker appears to have no plans on slowing down. While we’re still waiting for the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D diesel to go on sale in the US, Mazda announced that it will debut new Skyactiv-Hybrid and Skyactiv-CNG versions of the Mazda3 (standard US-spec model shown above) at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Matching up with what we heard earlier in the summer, the Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid is intended for Japan only, but there are no details about this system regarding fuel economy, electric components or specs. Likewise, there are no details for the Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept, which is a bi-fuel version of the car running on both gasoline and compressed natural gas. As this car’s name suggests, the CNG model is a concept vehicle, and there is no indication that Mazda plans offering such a model here in the US.

In addition to these two vehicles, Mazda will also have an Atenza (Mazda6) on display showing off some vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety systems, called the ASV-5 (Advanced Safety Vehicle). Scroll down for Mazda’s official press release.

Continue reading Mazda3 to showcase CNG, Hybrid versions in Tokyo

Mazda3 to showcase CNG, Hybrid versions in Tokyo originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Oct 2013 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda6 diesel delayed until April

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 13th, 2013

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2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D

Diesel enthusiasts waiting on the new Skyactiv-D-powered Mazda6 will have to wait a bit longer. The shapely fuel-efficient four-door has just had its North American launch pushed back to April, due to delays in emissions testing. Mazda had originally planned to launch the Mazda6 diesel before the end of this year, making the four- to five-month delay a rather serious one.

Mazda’s senior vice president of US operations, Robert Davis, told Mazda employees in a letter obtained by Automotive News that, “final certification testing – the results of which are looking encouraging – is taking longer than we had initially expected.” Following this letter, Mazda made an official announcement:

“The on-sale date for Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel has been moved to late-Spring 2014, to accommodate final emissions testing and certification. We are pleased with the ongoing development and are excited to launch this much-anticipated vehicle in North America. 2014 Mazda6 sales continue to exceed both our expectations and our production abilities, and supplies of the car are short at dealers across the U.S. More information on the SKYACTIV-D clean diesel Mazda6 will be available closer to the on-sale date.”

Mazda is set to become the only Japanese manufacturer in the North American diesel game when the 6 arrives. The brand, which has famously eschewed hybrid technology in favor of its Skyactiv philosophy, favoring lightweight, highly efficient components in the name of saving fuel, made waves when it announced the 2.2-liter turbodiesel. In a way, the fuel-sipping powerplant takes the place of a larger V6 in the Mazda6 lineup, generating just 173 horsepower, but compensating with 310 pound-feet of torque.

The delay in certification will lead to dealers getting an additional 4,000 gas-powered Mazda6s to make up for the lack of diesel early in 2014.

Mazda6 diesel delayed until April originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 Sep 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Mazdaspeed3 could go naturally aspirated?

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 12th, 2013

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Mazdaspeed3 rendering

The new Mazda3 is a stunner, both aesthetically and from a driving perspective. As with all good things, though, there’s always room for improvement. That’s where the wizards from Mazdaspeed come in. Mazda’s in-house tuner has been tweaking and turbocharging the five-door Mazda3 since 2007, with impressive results.

We’ve shown you renderings of what the third-generation Mazdaspeed3 could look like, and for the most part your response was quite positive. Now, AutoExpress has come out with details of just what might be under that long hood. According to our friends across the pond, the new Mazda3 MPS (that’s what the Speed3 is called in Her Majesty’s auto industry) will be arriving with a new, high-revving, naturally aspirated engine. Wait, what?

Yes, if the rumors are to be believed, the next Mazdaspeed3 will ditch its turbocharger. According to an anonymous engineer, the new MS3 will arrive in December (this is for the UK market, mind you) with a 200-horsepower, naturally aspirated engine. The 2.0-liter mill is based on the Skyactiv engine in the new 3, and should be capable of a sub-seven-second run to 62 miles per hour.

Now, we strongly encourage you to take these rumors with a grain of salt. There are a lot of things that don’t add up here. With 200 horsepower, the new Speed3 would be down over 50 horsepower on the original model. It’d also be easily outgunned by the competition from Ford, Subaru, and Volkswagen. And what about torque? The only way we can see a 200-horsepower Mazdaspeed3 working is if it weight is dramatically reduced. Considering weight savings is a tenet of Mazda’s Skyactiv philosophy, that seems like a possibility.

We’re still a long way from the new Mazdaspeed3′s debut, and a lot can change between now and then. What do you think – does a Mazdaspeed3 work without a turbo? Would you buy one with the more powerful alternatives available? Let us know in the comments.

Next Mazdaspeed3 could go naturally aspirated? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Jul 2013 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda3 officially unveiled

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 26th, 2013

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2014 Mazda3

Mazda has officially pulled the sheets off of its 2014 Mazda3. The all-new compact boasts a wheelbase that’s a full 2.4 inches longer than the outgoing model, yet the hatchback is a nearly two inches shorter from stem to stern. The machine is also lower and wider than before, which should give occupants plenty of space indoors. The driver gets treated to a new human-machine interface that features a new Active Driving Display for information like vehicle speed and navigation instructions conveniently in the line of sight. Likewise, the vehicle’s infotainment system has received a complete rebuild.

Outside, the new Mazda3 makes full use of the company’s KODO design language, and to our eyes, the result is one of the most attractive entries in the segment. Jump under the hood, and buyers can expect to find a Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, though no fuel economy estimates are available. For those looking for a bit more thrust, Mazda also offers a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline mill with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. So far there’s no word on the diesel engine available to our friends in Europe.

Both engines can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and feature the automaker’s i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration systems. The recaptured energy is stored in a capacitor and used to power the vehicle’s various electrical systems.

Mazda says the company’s newest compact features a chassis that’s a full 30-percent stiffer than the 2013 model thanks in part to extensive use of high-strength steel. The material also let Mazda cut around 200 pounds from the vehicle. Expect pricing, availability and fuel economy information to surface later. In the interim, you can read the full press release below for more information. We’ll have more photos to share shortly, so stay tuned.

Continue reading Mazda3 officially unveiled

Mazda3 officially unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda3 successor due in dealers this fall

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 23rd, 2013

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2014 Mazda3 undergoing testing with camouflage on

Following exciting new models like the 2013 CX-5 and 2014 Mazda6, Mazda is getting ready to introduce the next generation of its high-volume compact, the Mazda3. After talking to several of Mazda’s dealers, Automotive News is reporting that the automaker is planning to introduce its new compact this fall, which is earlier than what was originally reported.

Aside from what we’ve seen in recent spy shots and what appeared to be a full-scale design mockup back in October, there is little information about the third-generation 3, but we can see that the car will get plenty of cues from Mazda’s stylish Kodo design language, and we expect even more technologies from the company’s SkyActiv efficiency program to come to bear. AN says that Mazda is hoping to top 300,000 sales this year in the US, and the sooner Mazda can replace the current aging 3, the better chances it has at reaching that goal.

Mazda3 successor due in dealers this fall originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 21st, 2013

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2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon - profile view

This was sort of a quirky surprise drive opportunity. I’ve been over here in Italy for a while now, and Mazda Italia contacted me seemingly out of the blue to drive test some version of the Mazda6 with a diesel engine. Supremo. The Mazda6 is a sexy everyday beast and I have been digging their SkyActiv-D engines for a while now. Very spirited units.

My contact phones me the day of, and says he can come by with the car, and then we’ll head off to some sort of special spot for dynamics testing and technical conversation. Nice deal, say I.

My guy Ernesto pulls up outside of the house and – lo and behold – it’s a dang Mazda6 station wagon with the very most recent 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D motor good for 148 horsepower and healthy 280 pound-feet of torque. The wee four-banger with 14.0:1 compression ratio hauls this 3,260-pound wagon around with the best of them. A decent 0-to-60-mph time of 8.7 seconds, too.

Best touch? This one had the standard six-speed manual gearbox. We at Autoblog know how we bend a few noses the wrong way with our open cravings for exactly this sort of un-American car setup. But, oh my, did we have a good day together.

Driving Notes

  • First off, the Mazda6 sedan we just tested is a fine-looking conveyance. But if you like wagons like I do, this 2013 Mazda6 wagon is even finer. To my eyes, it doesn’t overdo it like some Infiniti models or the Nissan Juke, and any references to the swoopy Fisker Karma soon fade away. Mazda’s “Kodo” (“Soul of Motion”) design approach just works.
  • I was so geeked that this was a wagon. And the six-speed manual mated with the SkyActiv-D engine just took it over the top. Before hopping in, I noticed the optional set of really nice 19-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Turanza T001 treads, the latest vintage of this fine rubber.
  • Ernesto tells me that I am the very first in all of Italy to drive this engine trim outside of the company testers. “What about the Italian journos?,” I ask. He smiles and shrugs, meaning, “Too bad for them, I guess.”
  • This revvy and strong 2.2-liter turbodiesel is not the 173-hp tune that arrives in the U.S. later this year in the sedan, but it would do just fine on American roads. If the hp bump seems modest on the trim we’ll get, well, the torque bump is also a mild 30 lb-ft. Acceleration to 60 mph will be only a half-second quicker and fuel use will increase, though it will still be good at about 30 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway.
  • We pulled up outside of a go-kart track I know out in the middle of the northern Italian flatlands. Ernesto tells me this is the place. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Ever whipped a front-wheel-drive family wagon with manual shifter and small diesel engine around a karting circuit? Me either.
  • The terrific Turanza tires were smoking freely under the cranking enthusiasm of the 2.2-liter four. All of the torque was there at 1,800 revs and the action of the manual shifter proved smooth and precise. It was easy to heel-and-toe at all times – this, on an extremely tight kart track, not an open road with time to think built-in.
  • The wagon handled my induced-oversteer moves well, with superb steering and exceptional weight transfers exceptional. (It’s like this on almost any hopped-up wagon I’ve driven even a little like this. For instance, I prefer the Mini Cooper S JCW Clubman on a hot circuit versus the hardtop for this very reason).
  • All traction nannies were off and Ernesto and I were having a little more fun than I think his bosses had in mind. I started in with the Scandinavian handbraking, a technique that invariably enters the equation on such tracks, and we were giggling like school girls in short order.
  • The Mazda6′s rear suspension setup’s lateral arms do not, as many do, err forward and higher than the wheel hub. Instead they attach low, below the wheel center. This results in an extremely sporting attitude over twisty roads as the arms push at the rear wheel down lower and closer to the center line. This was most noticeable on track.

For the moment, no wagons are promised for the US, sadly. That’s a serious bummer for all of us; this Mazda6 wagon is a brilliantly executed design. Pretty damn good on a kart track, too.

2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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