Mazda South Africa: Pushing the boundaries of Environmental Technology







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: May 16, 2012
Categories: Mazda, Mazda Technology

SKYACTIV technology key benefits:

  • Improved fuel consumption
  • Enhanced driving performance
  • Improved power and torque

Mazda South-Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa, 15 May 2012 – Mazda's SKYACTIV technology will ensure reduced running costs and harmony with the environment through class leading fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.  SKYACTIV will feature in all of Mazda's upcoming new models from 2012. The CX-5 is the first Mazda to feature the entire suite of SKYACTIV Technology using a 'clean sheet' approach where engineers were given the freedom to design the technology from the ground up. By 2015 Mazda aims to make a 30% improvement on the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold worldwide.

SKYACTIV is being developed under Mazda's long-term vision for technology development, Sustainable Zoom-Zoom. The SKYACTIV technology is intended to reflect Mazda’s 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 ambitious strategy involves the comprehensive optimization of Mazda’s base technologies, which determines 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.

SKYACTIV centres on three key areas:

  • Advanced engines with world-beating compression ratios
  • Highly efficient automatic and manual transmissions
  • Refined lightweight chassis and body technology for outstanding crash safety performance and enhanced driving enjoyment.

ENGINE

It is forecast that internal combustion engines will still account for a high percentage of powertrains even as far ahead as 2020. But with conventional internal combustion engines some 70 to 80 percent of the energy contained in fuel is lost within a vehicle's powertrain and fails to be transferred as motive power to its wheels.

In commercializing the rotary engine and through other remarkable technical achievements, Mazda has a history of making the seemingly impossible possible. Now, Mazda has taken on the challenge of pursuing ideal combustion. As a result, with the SKYACTIV new-generation petrol engine, Mazda has attained a world best: a compression ratio of 13.0:1.

 SKYACTIV-Petrol:

  • Significantly improved engine efficiency thanks to the high compression combustion, resulting in a 15 percent increase in fuel efficiency and torque
  • Improved everyday driving due to increased torque at low-to mid-engine speeds
  • A 4-2-1 exhaust system, cavity pistons, multi-hole injectors and other innovations enable the high compression ratio

TRANSMISSIONS

Vehicle transmissions are not only extremely important for improving fuel economy, but also exert a major influence on driving performance.

  • The SKYACTIV-MT is a lightweight six-speed manual transmission that has been designed to deliver crisp wrist-flick gear changes. Using a common second and third input gear and removing the reverse idle shaft, has reduced the number of moving parts and trimmed its overall weight by 3kg. The six-speed SKYACTIV-Manual Transmission (MT) with its compact architecture and outstanding gear structure, delivers a light and crisp shift feel similar to that of the Mazda MX-5.
  • Significantly reduced size and  weight due to a revised structure
  • More efficient vehicle packaging thanks to its compact size
  • Improved fuel economy due to reduced internal friction

The SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed highly efficient automatic transmission achieves excellent torque transfer efficiency through a wider lock-up range and features the best attributes of all transmission types. It provides linear acceleration and a direct shift feel similar to a dual clutch transmission. The result is a smooth and highly efficient gearbox that delivers up to 7 percent better economy along with a direct feel and quick shift pattern.

  • Combines all 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
  • A 4-to-7 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the current transmission

CHASSIS

Reducing vehicle weight does not simply boost fuel economy; combined with this innovative engine, it complements the engine’s performance potential, and vastly improves the vehicle’s core performance attributes when driving, turning and stopping.

 To gain maximum benefit from the complete redesign of its base technologies, Mazda also set itself the challenge of reducing the weight of its vehicles through a process of “comprehensive weight reduction,” which was focused mainly on the next-generation body and chassis.

This all-inclusive process aimed to achieve a lightweight and highly-rigid body with excellent crash safety performance by pursuing an ideal body structure, adopting new production technologies and substituting new materials.

The optimization of materials and sheet thicknesses was enabled through the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE). Additionally, new production technologies such as weld bonding, ultimately helped reduce weight and resulted in better crash safety performance and rigidity. Mazda has also pursued chassis improvements through an optimized suspension structure and mounts.

SKYACTIV-BODY and SKYACTIV-CHASSIS:

  • High rigidity and lightness (8 percent lighter, 30 percent more rigid)
  • Outstanding crash safety performance and lightness
  • 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
  • Reduced weight through optimized bonding methods and expanded use of high-tensile steel

Mazda CX-5 is the first production model featuring the full range of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY. The result is satisfying, precise response and a high-quality, rewarding ride matched with outstanding environmental and safety performance. SKYACTIV technology will be introduced for the first time in South Africa with the launch of the CX-5.