Mazda is hoping to boost sales in the United States by 74 percent, and a key component of their strategy will be delivering sporty vehicles that can turn out “real world” fuel economy numbers.
“It’s not acceptable to us have 40 mpg and sacrifice performance,” said Robert Davis, Mazda’s senior VP of U.S. operations. Rivals such as the Hyundai Elantra have had their spare tires removed and special low rolling resistance tires to help trim weight and increase fuel economy. But Mazda says that the low rolling resistance tires are noisy and reduce the vehicle’s handling characteristics. The upcoming Mazda3 will hit 40 mpg thanks to a new engine dubbed “SKYACTIV”, while keeping the spare tire and regular rubber.
Mazda will also sell a diesel version of their upcoming CX-5 crossover, while other competitors do not offer a diesel option. Mazda hopes to boost sales to 400,000 units per year by the middle of the decade, up from 229,556 in 2010.
[Source: Automotive News]