No-holds-barred technology sharing between Mazda and Fiat might be on the table.
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From in-car technology to turbocharging, there is perhaps no other trend that’s fundamentally changing new cars more than the move to dramatically reduce the weight of modern vehicles.
Every car, whether it has a big V8 engine or an electric motor powering the wheels, is being equipped with fuel saving technologies.
Recall variable-valve timing. Introduced on the Acura NSX, and at one time a revolutionary technology, now practically all cars have some form of VVT. Now more technologies are being introduced as innovations for saving fuel. Let’s take a look at some of the more important and popular features being introduced on new models; many of which will soon be as prevalent as variable valve timing.
For what seems like forever, North America has been left behind when it comes to diesel cars. Sure there are a few options, but nowhere near as many as our friends in Europe. In fact, according to the Automotive Industry Data Newsletter, 52% of all new car sales last year in Western Europe were diesel powered.
Diesel engines offer unique advantages, with plenty of torque making tiny power plants more useable in small cars, while making modest size engines a functional alternative to much larger gasoline ones in SUVs. Towing, after all, is not something hybrids are known for. Additionally, diesel engines can provide fuel economy closer to that of a hybrid, without any of the worries surrounding new technology; plus, there’s no battery pack compromising passenger or storage space.
With those advantages, not to mention a push by automakers to meet increasingly strict corporate average fuel economy standards, a slew of diesel models are set to arrive on our shores in the near future. If you’re considering the switch to diesel power, here are a few options you’ll soon be able to consider.
Mazda claims that the future of driving begins now with their Skyactiv Technology, and they’ll be running some new ads to support just that.
Dubbed “Revolution”, the new television commercial will reinforce that Mazda hasn’t lost sight of its “Zoom-Zoom” position in the marketplace just because they’ve been working on ways to improve fuel efficiency in its new vehicles.
Over the years, the Japanese automaker has been responsible for the creation of the ever-popular Miata and the iconic RX-8, alongside with rotary engines. They are also the only Asian car company to ever win the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. And while most of us have Mazda embedded in our minds as a performance-oriented manufacturer, their new Skyactiv Technology looks to make vehicles more efficient through advanced engineering solutions.
Simply put, Mazda just wants to reiterate to the world that ”If it’s not worth driving, it’s not worth building”.
Watch the extended and standard versions of the new Mazda Revolution ads after the break, and check out Mazda`s new Dr. Seuss themed ad.
The Wankel engine lives! Although recent reports have suggested otherwise, a tweet from Mazda’s PR department was posted in Japanese for their followers indicating a new generation rotary engine is in the works, and thus confirming a previous report stating that SkyActiv senior exec Kiyoshi Fujiwara is continuing development on the Wankel.
Details on the rotary engine are still limited, but fans are not complaining. Although known for its incredible power output from its tiny displacement, a rotary engine’s inherent design burns a lot of fuel, contradicting the current eco-conscious trend across the automotive industry.
To stay relevant, the rotary engine must become more efficient. As Kiyoshi Fujiwara’s involvement suggests, much of Mazda’s rotary development depend on Mazda’s new Skyactiv technologies. Skyactiv innovations that can be applied on the rotary include the lightening of components, minimizing engine friction, engine temperature management, and optimizing compression ratio. Mazda is confident that the sum of these efforts will produce a new rotary that delivers Mazda’s driver-centric Zoom Zoom philosophy while addressing the current demands for fuel efficiency. Arigato, Mazda!
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
With August coming to a close, we’ve compiled a list of the latest AutoGuide video reviews for the month. Along with a test drive of the new Hyundai Genesis Sedan (including both the V6 and 5.0-liter V8-powered R-Spec model), we drove Mazda‘s SkyActiv prototype. It may look like a Mazda6, but underneath this odd right-hand drive machine is an all new platform and chassis, not to mention a new engine. Plus, we even drove Mazda’s new diesel engine for North America.
And let’s not forget the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry. Easily the most popular video review of the month, we take a look at all the different trim levels, from the sporty SE to the Hybrid.
Mazda spoke about new gasoline engines during a recent presentation, and also touched on the possibility of offering a clever new diesel engine to our market, but they didn’t mention anything about hybrids.
But just because they didn’t say anything, doesn’t mean they aren’t working on one. According to some spy photo’s circulating the web, it is working on a hybrid version of the Mazda6. However, rather than spend huge amounts of money on developing their own bespoke hybrid system, Mazda has signed a licensing agreement with Toyota over the use of its hybrid tech.
The Mazda6 hybrid test mule confirms its Toyota roots as the gear-lever in these prototypes have been lifted out of the Prius. Mazda says that while the technology is borrowed, the tuning will be all Mazda’s own, so the drive feel will be unique to them.
Will the hybrid model have an affect on Mazda’s plans to launch diesel models in North America? We hope not.
[Source: Car and Driver]
The New York Auto Show will be a big one for Mazda, as the company prepares 3 big unveiling that will pave the way for the company’s future on the engineering front.
Mazda will show off the Minagi concept for the first time in North America and debut the refreshed 2012 Mazda3 in America (after its unveiling at the Toronto Auto Show in February) complete with Mazda’s all-new SkyActiv engine technology. The SkyActiv 2.0L 4-cylinder hasn’t had power figures announced yet, but reports say that prototypes are putting out around 163 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque, while still maintaining 40 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg around town. A 6-speed automatic will also do its part to hit those numbers. With 33% the Mazda3 making up 33% of Mazda’s global sales, the refreshed car is a huge deal for the company, even if it flies under the radar of most North American consumers.
GALLERY: 2012 Mazda3
GALLERY: Mazda Minagi Concept
View video of the 2012 Mazda3 from its debut after the jump: