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Mazda introduces facelifted Demio with 1.3L SKYACTIV engine in Japan; hybrid-like fuel consumption at a lower price

Demio SKYACTIV-13. Click to enlarge.

Mazda began taking pre-orders for the facelifted Mazda Demio (known overseas as the Mazda2) at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealers throughout Japan; the sales launch is scheduled for 30 June. The updated Demio offers a new 13-SKYACTIV model grade that features the new 1.3-liter gasoline direct injection SKYACTIV engine (earlier post).

Combined with an updated version of Mazda’s idling stop system, i-stop, and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), SKYACTIV-G 1.3 will achieve fuel economy of 30 km/L (71 mpg US, 3.33 L/100km) on Japan’s 10-15 mode test cycle, or 25.0 km/L (59 mpg US, 4 L/100km) on the newer JC08 test cycle. By comparison, the Prius S model is rated at 35.5 km/L (84 mpg US, 2.8 L/100km) on the 10-15, and 30.4 (72 mpg US, 3.3 L/100km) on the JC-08. Starting price (including taxes) for the SKYACTIV-G 1.3 is ¥1,400,000 (US$17,430); starting price for the Prius S is ¥2,200,000 (US$27,400). Mazda is hoping that the Demio’s lower price point will give it some traction in the market against hybrids.

Fuel economy (10-15) km/L [mpg US] 30.0 [71] 35.5 [84]
Fuel economy (JC-08) km/L [mpg US] 25.0 [59] 30.4 [72]
Price (¥) 1,400,000 2,200,000
Price (US$) 17,430 27,400

Mazda’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) calculates that the facelifted Mazda Demio will produce 11% less carbon dioxide (CO2), 6% less NOx, 5% fewer non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), and 7% less SOx over its lifetime than the previous model.

The 1.3-liter direct engine features a compression ratio of 14.0:1. A cooled EGR system cools part of the exhaust gas and returns it to the combustion chamber in order to suppress knocking. Newly developed multi-hole fuel injectors with six injection nozzles also effectively suppress knocking by using the latent heat of vaporization to cool the combustion chambers.

Specially designed piston cavities prevent the flame coming in contact with the piston heads to reduce the combustion time and decrease cooling losses. Reduced mechanical friction in the engine—due to lighter pistons, conrods and other parts, and low-tension piston rings—also decrease energy loss.

“We will make sure this car is successful. Our company’s future depends on it.”
—Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda president

Mazda’s first dual sequential valve timing system (dual S-VT with electronically-operated intake) contributes to high power output and low fuel consumption.

An updated version of Mazda’s idling stop system, i-stop, operates with a higher frequency, requires less fuel to restart, and achieves a smoother restart.

The 13-SKYACTIV model grade uses drive force control that optimizes torque delivery from the engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). It responds precisely to slight movements of the accelerator pedal to provide the desired level of acceleration for smooth and linear vehicle movement.

The 13-SKYACTIV model grade uses aero parts—including an engine under cover and rear roof spoiler—to control airflow above and below the body. It achieves a top class drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29, and improved fuel economy and stability when driving at high speed.

The 13-SKYACTIV model grade features Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Mazda’s Traction Control System (TCS). In the 13-SKYACTIV model grade, the DSC is built into the electronically-controlled brake-assist system.

The Demio is the first model to feature SKYACTIV technology. The 13-SKYACTIV model also features “intelligent-Drive Master” (i-DM), a new driver aid that supports enjoyable driving while encouraging a driving style that enhances passenger comfort and improves fuel economy. The i-DM display on the dashboard indicates the driver’s inputs at the controls in real time, and provides an overall score and practical advice at the end of each trip. The score from each trip is used to calculate a driving skill level, from Stage 1 to Stage 3. By progressing through the stages, drivers can feel that their driving skills are improving.


Roger Pham

This is a very big achievement in automotive technology. Mazda has used almost every engine tricks known to wring out kinetic from every drop of gasoline while maintaining the same cost as non-hybrid entry-level gasoline cars.

One can add to this a low-cost Volvo-type flywheel kinetic energy recuperation system (KERS) mechanically clutched to a CVT for very little increase in cost, for further energy recovery during braking and for load-leveling during acceleration and decceleration. With KERS, it can beat the Prius-type full HEV fuel efficiency at 2/3 of the cost!

The flywheel may contain embedded magnets, and with stator coil windings on the case, it can also serve as an electrical generator and motor, in order to store unused kinetic energy into the battery when stopped for prolonged moment, or to use the battery's energy to spin up the flywheel to help launch the vehicle for faster acceleration after a long stop. This electrical KERS system will replace a starter and generator (alternator) in a conventional car.


How much these consumption numbers will translate in the EPA rating ? they claim only 11% reduction compared to previous Mazda Demio model which is not sold in US, but the Mazda2 2011 1.5L sold in US is given for 29/35 MPG.


Sounds good Roger, but wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to use a Honda like 15-20kW motor attached to the drive shaft. With updated power electronics and an efficient battery you could probably get 70-80% round trip efficiency, which you may be able to beat using a flywheel system but cost and reliability should favour the mild hybrid IMO


Good ideas Roger. I like the combined flywheel-generator-motor, to keep a larger double capacity 12/24 volts lead battery charged, to run ALL on-board e-ancillaries including starter, heat pump and all lights etc.

Mass production could (may be) keep cost in the affordable range.



Just another in a line of really little cars that meet most of the basic needs - as we all are prone to rant about - but ho hum - if it has really high perceived quality, they will sell a few; otherwise, who, but a few, will want to be caught in one.


With the compression ratio of 14.0:1, it probably requires gasoline with highest available octane number (I think it is 94 in N.America, 98 in Europe, i.e. more expensive fuel).
I heard that in older engines some deposits tend to form on piston heads and/or cylinder heads, which artificially increases the compression ratio. Such engines then work better with higher octane fuel (than what they used when they were new).
I'm wondering how this engine will work when some deposits form, as it already uses highest octane fuel (not counting various alcohols). Will it reduce car's resale value?
(Note that for the same thickness of the deposit, compression ratio will grow faster in higher compression engines).


Bardahl should burn off the the carbon deposits every time. Lol.

Roger Pham

Good point.
However, while Honda's 15-20 kW IMA is cheaper and simpler than electric KERS, the latter can easily put out 40-50 kW of power boost, limited only by the size of the CVT connected to the KERS. In stop-and-go traffic, the IMA system can heat up while the KERS' energy transfer is more direct therefore less heating up and more efficient as the result. Even though Honda's IMA is cheaper than Toyota's HSD, the HSD
system outsell the IMA by many folds because the HSD is more potent and more fuel efficient at the same time.

Direct injection and cooled EGR is what enables high CR of 14 in the Mazda's engine, and not high-octane fuel. Furthermore, the special injection system and the bowl shape of the piston top keeps the combustion away from the piston head and reduces combustion time. Both factors will prevent deposits from forming on the piston and cylinder head. The stop-start system will greatly reduce engine idling time, further prevent deposits in the combustion chamber.


It probably will be less than $17k to buy.. the engine has 83hp so it probably will be slower than a Prius, while using more gas.. lets see how it compares to the new cheaper Prius compact thats coming out.


It should sell well in Europe where gas is $8 / US Gallon and many people drive small cars without shame.

At that level of efficiency, it is probably best to leave it as it is (with the low price) and just sell them.

If you go from 60 mpg to 70mpg @ 10K miles/year and $8 gasoline, you only save $190 / year which is not so much, so freeze it and sell it as is.


10-15 figures are useless for Americans, but the JC-08 figures are a bit more relevant. EPA doesn't capture the benefits of stop-start so it will be interesting to see what ratings it achieves when it comes to the states.


Static compression ratio doesn't determine the likelihood of predet. Dynamic compression is what really matters.


All vehicles equipped with stop-start cannot/should not (yet) be tested with EPA's standards. Better be done with JC-08?


These are good MPG figures if they hold up in the States. Any high MPG car is a boon to the Energy Independence movement and we applaud Mazda's inventiveness. Even if it is ugly to look at.

Of course when EVs eventually fall in cost to a similar price range we can expect a stampede. Who wants to buy gasoline when you can charge your EV overnight at home. And NEVER stop at a gas station again.



The 14.0 compression ratio in this engine requires, at least, 'premium' fuel. The coming Sky engine in Mazda3 for the U.S. is modified to 12.0 for our consumption, IIRC.


Ahhhhhh, 83 hp? Are you serious? The Mazda2 gets 100 hp and is slow.

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