JAPAN: Mazda unveils 'Skyactiv' technology
Two of the new 'Sky' engines and the revamped automatic transmission
Having earlier announced new 'Sky' engines and transmissions, Mazda Motor has followed up with the launch of its 'Skyactiv' next-generation technologies — including engines, transmissions, vehicle bodies and chassis — that will appear first in the Japanese domestic market Demio (sold overseas as the 2) on sale in the first half of 2011.
It will be powered by the Skyactiv-G, a next-generation direct injection petrol engine that achieves significantly improved fuel efficiency thanks to a high compression ratio of 14.0:1 and can achieve fuel economy of 30km/litre without any assistance from an electric motor.
Skyactive is the new blanket term for innovative next-generation technologies that are being developed under Mazda's long-term vision for technology development.
President and CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said: "Mazda is renewing its entire powertrain and platform lineup at the same time as revolutionising every manufacturing process from R&D through to mass production."
The Skyactive-D clean diesel engine will meet global emissions regulations without expensive NOx aftertreatments, urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or a lean NOx trap (LNT) — thanks to a claimed world-lowest diesel engine compression ratio of 14.0:1. It gets 20% better fuel efficiency as a result.
A new two-stage turbocharger gives a smooth and linear response from low to high engine speeds, and greatly increases low- and high-end torque (up to the 5,200 rpm rev limit)
It also complies with global emissions regulations (Euro6 in Europe, Tier2Bin5 in North America, and the Post New Long-Term Regulations in Japan), without expensive NOx aftertreatment
'Skyactiv-Drive' is a highly efficient automatic transmission that achieves excellent torque transfer efficiency through a wider lock-up range and features the best attributes of all transmission types. It is said to combine all the advantages of conventional automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions, and dual clutch transmissions while a dramatically widened lock-up range improves torque transfer efficiency and realizes a direct driving feel that is equivalent to a manual transmission.
All that gives a 4% to 7% improvement in fuel economy compared to the current transmission, the automaker said.
Skyactiv-MT is a light and compact manual transmission which Mazda claims has a crisp and light shift feel like that of a sports car, optimised for a front-engined front-wheel-drive layout, with significantly reduced size and weight due to a revised structure, resulting in more efficient vehicle packaging thanks to its compact size as well as improved fuel economy due to reduced internal friction.
The Skyactiv-body is a lightweight and highly rigid body with claimed outstanding crash safety performance. It includes a 'straight structure' in which each part of the frame is configured to be as straight as possible. Additionally, a 'continuous framework' approach was adopted in which each section functions in a coordinated manner with the other connecting sections. Weight was reduced weight through optimised bonding methods and expanded use of high-tensile steel.
The Skyactiv chassis has newly developed front strut and rear multilink suspension for high rigidity and lightness (The entire chassis is 14% lighter than the previous version.)