Mazda announces 40 mpg Mazda3 with Skyactiv, Mazda CX-5 crossover, diesel at New York Auto Show
Rather than a vehicle that represents only a small percentage of its fleet, Mazda is introducing Skyactiv on the Mazda3, which represents one-third of Mazda sales worldwide. Skyactiv is actually a range of technologies, from new engines and transmissions to chassis developments, all to increase fuel economy and performance. This fall, the 2012 Mazda Mazda3 and Mazda CX-5 will receive a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv engine and new six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.
The new Skyactiv engine is remarkable in that has a 14:1 compression ratio and runs on regular gas. Those familiar with automotive technology will recognize this as a major technological breakthrough. Usually, 12:1 is considered the outer limits, even on race eninges, and those running on premium fuel. The higher compression ratio increases the engine's thermal efficiency, or ability use more of the "heat" in gasoline.
The automotive tech savvy will recognize an unusual pit in the center of the Skyactiv engine's piston faces. The new engine also utilizes direct injection, which sprays a precisely-times and positioned fine mist of gasoline directly into the cylinder. This advanced fuel delivery system is used for its increased efficiency compared to traditional port fuel injection.
The new transmissions use the latest available technology, of course, but the six-speeds also replace a five-speed manual transmission and an almost antediluvian four-speed automatic. The multiple speed transmissions allow engines to stay in the best rev range for better fuel economy.
The Mazda CX-5 crossover, sized below Mazda's CX-7 and CX-9, will go on sale in the U.S in spring 2012. The CX-5 is based on the Minagi Concept, which debuted at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year. The Minagi Concept follows Mazda's new Kodo-"the soul of motion"--design theme that will also influence the facelift the 2012 Mazda3 will receive this fall.
Speaking at the New York International Auto Show, Mazda's head of product development Robert Davis also confirmed that Mazda will introduce diesel power to the U.S. beginning in spring 2012.
"There's still money to be made" with the internal combusion engine, said Davis, adding that Mazda would not tie itself to any one technology.