Mazda Motor Corporation has launched its SKYACTIV next-generation technologies—including engines, transmissions, vehicle bodies and chassis—that will begin appearing in Mazda products from 2011. The Mazda Demio (known overseas as the Mazda2) will be the first model to feature SKYACTIV technology and will go on sale in Japan in the first half of 2011.
The Demio will be powered by the SKYACTIV-G, Mazda’s next-generation direct injection gasoline engine that achieves improved fuel efficiency due to a high compression ratio of 14.0:1. (Earlier post.) The Mazda Demio SKYACTIV-G will achieve fuel economy of 30 kilometers per liter (70.6 mpg US, 3.3 L/100km) on the 10-15 cycle without any assistance from an electric motor.
SKYACTIV is a blanket term for Mazda’s next-generation technologies being developed under the company’s long-term vision for technology development, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom”. Mazda said that the SKYACTIV name is intended to reflect its desire to provide driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance in its vehicles.
To achieve this goal, Mazda has implemented an internal Building Block Strategy to be completed by 2015. This involves the optimization of Mazda’s base technologies, which determine the core performance of its vehicles, and the progressive introduction of electric devices such as regenerative braking and a hybrid system. All the technologies that are developed based on the Building Block Strategy will fall under the SKYACTIV umbrella.
Mazda outlined six SKYACTIV technologies:
SKYACTIV-G. A next-generation highly-efficient direct-injection gasoline engine that achieves a compression ratio of 14.0:1 with no abnormal combustion (knocking). The high compression combustion results in significantly improved engine efficiency, resulting in 15% increases in fuel efficiency and torque. Increased torque at low- to mid-engine speeds improves the driving experience. A 4-2-1 exhaust system, cavity pistons, multihole injectors and other innovations enable the high compression ratio.
SKYACTIV-D. A next-generation clean diesel engine that will meet global emissions regulations (Euro 6, US EPA Tier2 Bin5, and Post New Long Term Regulations in Japan) without expensive NOx aftertreatments—urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or a Lean NOx Trap (LNT)—due to a low diesel engine compression ratio of 14.0:1. The low-compression ratio results in 20% better fuel efficiency, Mazda says. A new two-stage turbocharger realizes 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).
SKYACTIV-Drive. A next-generation 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 combines the advantages of conventional automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions, and dual clutch transmissions. A dramatically widened lock-up range improves torque transfer efficiency and realizes a direct driving feel that is equivalent to a manual transmission; the transmission delivers a 4-7% improvement in fuel economy compared to the current transmissions.
SKYACTIV-MT. A light and compact next-generation manual transmission optimized for a front-engined front-wheel-drive layout. It features a short stroke and light shift feel. Size and weight is reduced significantly due to a revised structure, and fuel economy is improved due to reduced friction.
SKYACTIV-Body A next-generation lightweight, highly-rigid body (8% lighter, 30% more rigid) with outstanding crash safety performance. SKYACTIV-Body is 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 is reduced via optimized bonding methods and expanded use of high-tensile steel.
SKYACTIV-Chassis. The SKYACTIV next-generation high-performance lightweight chassis balances precise handling with a comfortable ride feel to realize driving pleasure. Newly developed front strut and rear multilink suspension enable high rigidity and lightness (The entire chassis is 14% lighter than the previous version.)