NT News - Motoring - - NEWS -

VERY new Mazda will sip 30 per cent less fuel than the cars presently in the Ja­panese brand’s show­rooms.

The com­pany is push­ing ahead with plans to in­tro­duce its next-gen­er­a­tion di­rect-in­jec­tion petrol Sky G en­gines across the lo­cal range next year.

The Sky D diesel en­gines are also in the pipe­line.

The com­pany’s head of global mar­ket­ing, sales and cus­tomer ser­vice Masazumi Wakayama said the com­pany was com­mit­ted to low­er­ing fuel econ­omy across its en­tire range by 2015.

‘‘The Sky en­gines are crit­i­cal to that goal,’’ he said.

Ini­tially 2.0-litre petrol Sky G and a 2.2-litre diesel Sky D will ar­rive.

The petrol en­gine is said to de­liver a 15 per cent fuel econ­omy gain while the diesel im­prove­ment is 20 per cent over cur­rent equiv­a­lent en­gines.

Wakayama said the Sky G equipped Mazda3 delivers the same econ­omy and emis­sions as to­day’s Mazda2.

Both the petrol and diesel en­gines will be mated with a new au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, called Sky-Drive, which acts like a dual clutch trans­mis­sion.

Im­por­tantly too, the Sky G en­gine will be mated to

EToy­ota’s hy­brid drive sys­tem to power a new hy­brid car. The hy­brid is ex­pected to ar­rive first in the Mazda6 about 2013, af­ter both Ja­panese car­mak­ers last month an­nounced a hy­brid technology shar­ing agree­ment.

Wakayama said the Mazda hy­brid would have all the qual­i­ties ex­pected of a Mazda.

‘‘It will drive Mazda,’’ he said.

Al­though hy­brids rep­re­sent 20 per cent of to­tal car sales in Ja­pan, Wakayama be­lieves the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine is not dead.

‘‘We be­lieve that the vast ma­jor­ity of cars will have in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines in 2030,’’ he said.

‘‘That is why we are work­ing to op­ti­mise these base tech­nolo­gies first.

‘‘This will ben­e­fit cus­tomers by min­imis­ing the cost of own­er­ship.’’

Apart from more ef­fi­cient en­gines, such as the Sky range, Mazda is fo­cused on re­duc­ing weight, in­tro­duc­ing lower rolling re­sis­tance tyres and im­proved aero­dy­nam­ics of its cars.

‘‘Af­ter that we will in­tro­duce stop-start and re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing and hy­brid sys­tems,’’ he said. ‘‘The phased in­tro­duc­tion of these tech­nolo­gies will form the fu­ture of Mazda.

‘‘Of course this will even­tu­ally also lead to an elec­tric ve­hi­cle too but we are not do­ing that straight away.’’

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