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More and more automakers it seems, are discovering the benefit of stop/start technology applied to their conventional powered models in an effort to boost fuel economy.
Mazda, which calls its version i-stop, has been utilizing it since 2009 and recently announced that it will be featured on the new CX-5 crossover, when it goes on sale next year. However, there’s a bit of catch; i-stop will only be offered on the European spec CX-5 for the time being, as far s the North American market is concerned it could be several years before the technology makes an appearance.
Nonetheless, Mazda North America president and CEO, Jim O’Sullivan did state that it’s likely on its way. “Within five years, it’s a definite, distinct possibility it could happen,” he said, though was keen to emphasize that educating consumers in North America would be crucial to making it successful; “the prospects for stop/start technology depend on consumer acceptance, there are those people driving the vehicle who might not be comfortable with their engine stopping. Will it restart?”
In order to overcome anxiety and potential resistance to the technology, O’Sullivan says the best way is to phase it in and establish it across multiple product lines, a plan Mazda currently has in place across the pond.
Last year, around 10 percent of 2.0 MZR gas-engined Mazda3s in Europe were sold with i-stop and so far, in 2011 the take rate on the technology has been around 25 percent with the Mazda5 people carrier.
Early tests of the CX-5 equipped with i-stop have reported that the technology is smooth and virtually seamless in operation, both with gas and diesel engines and also with both manual and automatic transmissions. It’s a shame we’ll likely have to wait another half decade to experience it ourselves.
[Source: Ward's Auto.com]
Mercedes-Benz has announced that it is combining the 3.0-liter BlueTEC diesel V-6 in the Euro market S-class with an ECO stop/start function, in an effort to further reduce fuel consumption on the big sedan.
Fitted with this new feature, gas mileage is said to be around 37.9 miles per gallon (6.2 liters per 100 km) combined city/highway. Another result of this has been a further reduction in emissions output, enabling the diesel engine, already fitted with Mercedes’ AdBlue urea injection system, to easily clear the tough new Euro 6 smog requirements designed to take effect in 2014.
The ECO Stop/Start system automatically shuts of the engine when the car comes to halt and then immediately re-starts once the driver takes their foot off the brake pedal; however, unlike the old days, when such antics were usually the result of a badly tuned engine that stalled out, all the S350′s other functions, such as HVAC and entertainment features continue to operate while the engine is shut off.
Even with the new ECO system; Mercedes says that retail price on the S350 BlueTEC will remain unchanged; the car stickering at 76,517 Euros (approximately $110,460 US), which includes the dreaded 19 percent Value Added Tax.
The 2011 BMW M3 will get Start/Stop technology in a bid to cut down on emissions and fuel consumption. Since most M3s will realistically sit in bumper to bumper traffic, this seems like a fairly astute move by BMW, even if armchair enthusiasts will collectively groan at the thought of their precious sports car being saddled with hybrid technology.
According to BMW, “…feature developed from BMW’s EfficientDynamics strategy that will shut down the engine under certain conditions when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. The benefit of this technology is reduced fuel consumption and the function can be switched on/off via a button located next to the Start/Stop button.”
We’re not really sure what to make of this new feature, but we’d more than willing to test drive a new 2011 M3 and find out.
[Source: BMW Blog]