It seems perverse, but Mazda is claiming a world’s highest and world’s lowest engine compression ratios in the same announcement and saying both are a good thing. In an statement today at company headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan, Mazda said that its next generation gasoline engine with “Skyactiv technology”–Skyactiv-G –would have a compression ratio of a sky-high 14.0:1. At the same time, Skyactiv-D, a new technology diesel, would have a compression ratio of 14.0:1 as well, low compared to up to 25:1 in other diesels.And both engines will give super-high fuel mileage.
The Mazda Skyactiv-G engine achieves its status as highest compression production engine via ” 4-2-1 exhaust system, cavity pistons, multihole [direct] injectors and other innovations.” In the Mazda2 (Demio in Japan), the engine will return fuel mileage of 70 miles per gallon (on Japan’s 10-15 test cycle) without, Mazda notes, help from an electric motor. In addition to the better fuel economy, low and mid-range torque will increase by fifteen percent, a win-win.
On the other hand, the lower compression ratio of the diesel means both an increase in fuel economy of twenty percent along with particularly clean combustion. Mazda says the Skyactiv-D engines will be less expensive to build, the Mazda Skyactiv-D engines meeting future Euro 6 emission standards without after-treatment to reduce NOx. Like the gasoline engines, the Skyactiv-D will have increased torque, “up to the rev limit of 5,200 rpm.” Skyactiv-D engines will have two-phase turbochargers, said Mazda, for a “smooth and linear response from low to high engine speeds.”
Mazda also took the occasion to announce new and improved automatic and manual transmissions, dubbed Skyactiv-Drive and Skyactiv-MT. The automatic features “dramatically widened lock-up range” which improves torque transfer efficiency. Mazda’s automatics have been particularly sloppy, but Mazda says the new selfshifter “gives a direct driving feel that is comparable to a manual transmission” while improving feul economy by up to 7 percent. The all-new manual transmission is lighter and more compact, designed specifically for front-drive applications and with reduced internal friction should improve fuel economy as well.
Mazda has also slapped the Skyactiv brand on new body and chassis technology, already in use in the Mazda2, calling the body Skyactiv-Body and Skyactiv-Chassis. Higher strength steel and new design features make the bodies eight percent lighter and thirty percent more rigid. The new suspension is fourteen percent lighter and improves handling as well.
The full range of the new Skyactiv technologies will be applied to the Mazda2 in Japan in the spring of 2011, but when these technologies trickle to other markets, or even what engine sizes or outputs, wasn’t announced.
The “SKYACTIV Demio will be a fun-to-drive fuel sipper that will satisfy anyone’s desire for driving pleasure,” according to Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda president and CEO. Well, yes, unless your company makes hybrids,
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