SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR FUEL SAVINGS
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.’’