Sky’s the limit for gearbox
MUCH-NEEDED automatic transmissions are likely to be added to Mazda’s diesel models next year. A new transmission — Sky-Drive — is being developed in Japan to suit everything from the Mazda3 to CX-9 with diesel power.
It’s part of the company’s Sky development program, which is spearheaded by a 2-litre petrol engine intended to deliver a 15 per cent improvement to torque and fuel efficiency.
The first look came at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, where a 1.3-litre Sky engine was fitted to a Kiyora concept car. A Sky-D engine is on the way, according to Mazda’s Masazumi Wakayama.
The transmission for the Sky engines is a new auto with a 5 per cent efficiency improvement, though few other details are available.
But the Sky-Drive’s potential for diesel use is obvious, since it is expected to handle up to 400Nm.
‘‘The Sky-G petrol engine is coming in 2011 with Sky-Drive automatic transmission,’’ Steve Maciver of Mazda Australia says. ‘‘The diesel is being developed to work with that transmission, but we haven’t confirmed when it’s coming.’’
Sky pilot: everything from the Mazda3 to the CX-9 will suit the new transmission.