Mazdato start i-stop

Fuel-sav­ing technology is be­ing tested, writes Stu­art Martin

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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