Mazdato start i-stop
Fuel-saving technology is being tested, writes Stuart Martin
STOP-START technology will appear in mainstream machines this year as Mazda’s trial of its version continues in Australia. The i-stop system is Mazda’s term for the stop-start system that automatically shuts down the engine when the car is stationary. It is part of its new Sky engines.
Mazda Australia national marketing manager Alastair Doak has a Mazda3 with a two-litre direct-injection engine with idle-stop for testing using local fuel under local weather conditions.
‘‘ It’s giving local Mazda people a chance to look at it and get comfortable with the system,’’ he says.
The system will keep the engine running only if things such as the airconditioning are on.
‘‘It does make a difference in the engine’s performance and in the real-world the savings are significant,’’ says Doak.
‘‘i-stop is one of the many improvements that the new Skyactiv technologies will offer customers as Mazda strives to improve global average fuel economy by 30 per cent by 2015,’’ he says.
The system, already in use by Audi, BMWand Mini models in Australia, aims to reduce fuel use and emissions during metropolitan driving where cars spend a lot of time idling at traffic lights.
Even high-performance brand Porsche has similar technology in place on some cars sold in Australia.
Mazda claims its system, on both petrol and diesel engines, is quicker to restart.
The Mazda system doesn’t stop until the pistons are positioned for a quick and smooth restart.
The system resumes when drivers take their foot off the brake pedal to get under way again. Fuel is injected into the cylinder and the start motor applies a small amount of torque to the crankshaft, all of which makes for a more refined and quicker start, says Mazda.
The company claims a 0.35 of a second restart, which it says is half the time of other stop-start systems.
Mazda is introducing its next-generation Skyactiv technologies this year, but it is being coy about which models will be equipped with it.
The new Mazda6 is due late in the year.
On the way: Mazda’s i-stop could be rolled out in Australia this year.