Mazda is previewing its new building blocks, writes Neil Dowling
RADICAL new engines and transmissions will change Mazda’s place in the car world and form building blocks for its future.
With its new ‘‘one size fits all’’ philosophy, Mazda reveals that next year it will make a single vehicle platform to suit different models.
At its first showing in Berlin, Mazda previewed its new diesel and petrol engines, new automatic and manual transmissions and several new chassis systems.
Though shown in old Mazda6 bodies, the drivetrains will be seen — as early as next year in Australia— in the coming Mazda3, Mazda6, SUVs, commercial vehicles and, later, in the Mazda2.
Mazda has also revealed it has achieved fuel consumption as low as 5.8 litres/ 100km from a normally aspirated 2-litre petrol four and 4.2 litres/100km from its new 2.2-litre bi-turbo diesel.
Also, the engines will meet future strict emission regulations, including Euro 6.
So here’s what’s new.
MAZDA has rolled out its Sky-G (petrol) and Sky-D (diesel) engine range.
Technically, they represent a fresh wave of internal combustion engine development. For example, a diesel usually has a very high compression ratio of about 20:1, but Sky-D has an unusually low 14:1.
The Sky-G also has 14:1, when normally aspirated petrol engines are about 10:1.
Powertrain development division head Mitsuo Hitomi says by raising the compression ratio and controlling cylinder head temperatures, it’s possible to reduce fuel use.
A side benefit — aided by a highperformance four-into-two-into-one exhaust system and long-stroke cylinder design — is a 15 per cent increase in torque.
The longer stroker/smaller bore allows the cylinders to be placed closer and the engine block to be 20mm shorter and lighter.
Sky-G is a 2-litre engine, but Mazda is finalising a 1.3-litre version that is intended for the Mazda2. A smaller diesel is also being developed.
Both diesel and petrol engines — and manual and automatic transmissions — come with Mazda’s ‘‘i-stop’’ stop-start system.
THERE are four transmissions branded Sky-Drive: six-speed manuals and six-speed automatics for petrol and diesel applications.
The big story is the lock-up system for all cars that Mazda claims allows up to 7 per cent fuel savings, while delivering rapid shifts.
Mazda is considering paddle shifters in some automatic models and even a ‘‘sports’’ shift button to accentuate shift points.