For years Mazda has been synonymous with innovative thinking, and developing advanced technologies. Recently Mazda invited AutoNorth to Vancouver, British Columbia to showcase their latest innovative thinking called SKYACTIV Technology. SKYACTIV Technology is an all new vehicle architecture that encompasses new engine, transmission and chassis components. This new technology will underpin Mazda’s for years to come and ensure that every Mazda will continue to be drivers vehicles.
Click the jump for a preview of SKYACTIV and first driving impressions of this new technology.
Mazda believes that the internal combustion engine still has a long life and can be tuned to achieve maximum efficiency. SKYACTIV does just that by improving current technology while enhancing Mazda’s vehicle dynamics and performance.
SKYACTIV-G (2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder gasoline engine):
This all new engine features the industry's highest compression ratio of 14:1. For comparison the Ferrari 458 Italia has a compression ratio of 12.5:1. In North America the SKYACTIV-G will have a slightly lower ratio of 13:1 due to fuel standards.
This high compression ratio is made possible by a 4-2-1 exhaust system, redesign pistons cavities, new multi port injectors, and Sequential Valve Timing or S-VT. As a result the SKYACTIV-G is 10% lighter then Mazda’s old 2.0 liter gasoline engine, uses 15% less fuel, and increases torque by 15%. The best thing is that this engine runs on regular 87 Octane gas and cuts CO2 emission by 15%.
SKYACTIV-D (2.2 Liter inline 4 cylinder gasoline engine):
Mazda has offered diesel engines for years in other countries and now will be the first Japanese manufacturer to offer diesel technology in North America.
The new engine will have a 14:1 compression ratio, the lowest of any civilian diesel engine on the market today. To avoid misfire and help the diesel start up on our cold frosty Canadian mornings, engineers developed a new Variable Valve lift system on the exhaust values. The Variable Valve lift system opens the exhaust valve slightly allowing the exhaust to flow back into the combustion chamber. This increases air temperature before compression allowing for quicker startup. The SKYACTIV-D will be equipped with a 2 stage turbocharger with a redline of 5200 rpm. This allows the diesel engine to have more high end torque than other passenger car diesels on sale today.
Emissions and fuel consumption will be cut by 20% compared to Mazda’s current diesel engine. The new diesel engine will also be 10% lighter due to weight saving technologies.
SKYACTIV MT (Manual transmission):
Someone forgot to tell Mazda that the automobile industry is moving away from manual transmissions and developing complicated 7 or 8 speed automatic units. The problem is that these units are not suitable for people that love to drive, the people Mazda builds cars for. So engineers developed the SKYACTIV-MT and benchmarked it against Mazda’s very own manual transmission in the MX-5 roadster. The result was a new transmission that has a direct and sporty feel.
The new 6 speed transmission will feature a short shift stroke of 45 mm, improved shift mechanism and structure. A light and compact layout has also been developed for the SKYACTIV-MT to reduce weight and help with vehicle package.
SKYACTIV Drive (Automatic Transmission):
The automatic transmission has always been a source of power loss when connected to the engine. Mazda Engineers developed a brand new 6 speed automatic transmission to overcome transmission power losses and provide drivers with more direct feeling. The SKYACTIV Drive will feature a small torque convertor which is used a limited amount of the time. Under most driving conditions, the transmission will be directly connected to the engine. This results in smooth, quick shifts and reduces engine flare due to clutch lockup.
A new hydraulic control module with new software has also been developed. This helps to ensure top class shift response as well as shift quality. The SKYACTIV Drive has a compact light weight design, improved fuel economy and reduced torque loss from a traditional automatic transmission.
Mazda has spent a considerable amount of time developing the SKYACTIV body. The new body uses 60% more high tensile steel, compared to the current generation of Mazda’s (current body uses 40% of tensile steel). New manufacturing processes have also been developed. This increases rigidity and makes the new SKYACTIV vehicles 8% lighter then current Mazda vehicles.
The SKYACTIV Body also features a newly calibrated front suspension, redesigned rear suspension and a new EPAS electric steering system. All these changes provide the driver with a sense of oneness with the new Mazdas, improved high speed stability, excellent ride comfort and improved braking.
How do all of these SKYACTIV technologies work together in one automobile? Check back later this week to see our driving impressions of Mazda’s latest technology.