The first half of 2011 will see the introduction of a new range of technologies from Mazda, collectively referred to as Skyactiv. The Skyactiv tech includes new small-displacement engines formerly known as Sky-G and Sky-D in their gasoline and diesel variants, respectively. The Skyactiv tech will also include transmissions, bodies, and vehicle chassis. Skyactiv technology will make its production debut with the Japanese market Demio (Mazda2) next year.
The Skyactiv-G engine is a next-generation direct-injection 1.4-liter I-4 that Mazda said will run with a 14.0:1 compression ratio – the highest of any automaker for a production gasoline engine – and will achieve fuel economy of 30km/liter (70 miles per gallon). The engine offers increased efficiency as well as low-to-mid range torque compared to engines of similar displacement, according to Mazda, and subsequent improved driveability.
A new diesel engine dubbed Skyactiv-D is also on the way with the same compression ratio and a new two-stage turbocharger setup that improves low and high end torque significantly. The engine is in compliance with European, Japanese, and U.S. emissions regulations without using specialized treatment systems, such as urea injection.
The Skyactiv family of technology aims to improve efficiency and two new transmissions are being developed with the same goal. The automatic gearbox, with a wider lock-up range, provides all the advantages of automatic, dual-clutch, and CVT transmissions in a single unit, Mazda says. Meanwhile, a new manual gearbox, the Skyactiv-MT, optimizes shift stroke and feel with compact packaging for lighter weight. Specifically designed for front-engine, front-wheel-drive layouts, the transmission is designed to improve fuel economy by reducing internal friction.
Finally, Mazda’s Skyactiv body and chassis are designed to be lighter weight than traditional units, while offering superior crash safety and high rigidity for improved driving dynamics. High-tensile steel use is up in the body, while a new front strut and rear multilink suspension contribute to a chassis that is 14-percent lighter than previous versions.