Mazda has boldly claimed that its third-generation Skyactiv gas engine technology will have lower “well-to-wheel” emissions than an electric vehicle.
While most automakers shift gears from the internal combustion engine (ICE) to hybrid and full-electric powertrains, Mazda is steadfast in its pursuit of perfecting the age-old g-burner, which it believes still has a lot of untapped potential. With development of the company’s second-generation Skyactiv-X technology now complete and slated to arrive on the market in 2019, engineers have been tasked with maximizing thermal efficiency of ‘Skyactiv-3’, the next generation of gasoline engines.
Mazda powertrain chief Mitsuo Hitomi revealed at an automotive technical conference in Tokyo that the Skyactiv-3 engines are expected to deliver unprecedented thermal efficiency levels of up to 56 percent — a 27-percent improvement over their predecessors — as well as lower emissions than pure battery-powered electric vehicles.
According to , which broke the story, the company’s study considers carbon-dioxide emissions from natural-gas powerplants used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles and the emissions from oil extraction and refining, so it’s not exactly and apples-to-apples comparison.
Even so, up to 56 percent in thermal efficiency and the associated reduction in emissions would be impressive feats of engineering if achieved.
Mazda has been the leader in overall fleet efficiency for five consecutive years despite not following the mainstream shift towards full electrification.
2019 Mazda CX-3 Shows Its Updated Style And Tech In New York
Mazda used the 2018 New York Auto Show to present an updated Mazda CX-3.
For the its 2019 model year, Mazda’ subcompact crossover gets slight styling updates, more upscale materials and a more responsive engine to deliver what the Japanese automaker says is a more “Exquisite and Edgy” package.
Highlights of the exterior include a restyled front grille, new chrome and piano black accents, a new taillight signature, and new 18-inch wheels.
Inside, the updated CX-3 boasts a redesigned front seats that are wider and more supportive, redesigned armrests, and an electronic parking brake that frees up more room for the cupholders and storage in the center console. Rear passengers now have a center armrest as well, with built-in cupholders, while thicker door panels, headliner, rear window and redesigned door seams make the cabin quieter.
Power is still provided by a 2.0L engine, though it has been retuned for more torque across its entire RPM range, more horsepower, and improved fuel efficiency. The 2.0L engine now generates 148 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque.
Engineers also improved the CX-3’s handling with Mazda’s unique G-Vectoring Control, which uses steering and throttle inputs to reduce torque and, thus, balance the crossover’s weight for better grip in turns, especially in low-traction situations.
North American sales of the 2019 Mazda CX-3 begin in spring 2018.
Mazda Finally Brings Apple CarPlay, Android Auto To Its Cars
With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity becoming a must for prospective carbuyers, you’d think it would a no-brainier feature of every new car. Yet Mazda had resisted the technology until now.
The Japanese automaker has finally announced that it will debut Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in the updated, 2018 Mazda6 in summer 2018. They will be standard on the Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels of the midsize sedan, basically leaving out the base Mazda6 Sport.
Mazda will retrofit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto presumably through a future software update if you purchased your 2018 Mazda6 before the roll-out.
It is likely that the similarly-updated Mazda CX-3 and every all-new Mazda from here on out will also offer the increasingly ubiquitous mobile apps.
Better late than never, Mazda.
Mazda, Toyota Establish New Joint-Venture Company
Mazda and Toyota’s budding partnership has resulted in a new joint-venture company known as Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc., or MTMUS for short.
Having been in the works for some time, the new MTMUS entity is an even 50-50 split between the two automakers and has begun construction of of a new, $1.6 billion vehicle plant in Huntsville, Alabama, to build 150,000 units of a new Mazda SUV and 150,000 units of the Toyota Corolla per year.
Mazda’s Executive Officer Masashi Aihara, who will serve as President of MTMUS, stated:
“We hope to make MTMUS a plant that will hold a special place in the heart of the local community for many, many years. By combining the best of our technologies and corporate cultures, Mazda and Toyota will not only produce high-quality cars but also create a plant employees will be proud to work at and contribute to the further development of the local economy and the automotive industry.”
Hironori Kagohashi, executive general manager of Toyota and MTMUS’s Executive Vice President, echoed those sentiments, adding:
“The new plant, which will be Toyota’s 11th manufacturing facility in the U.S., not only represents our continuous commitment in this country, but also is a key factor in improving our competitiveness of manufacturing in the U.S. We are committed to realizing a highly competitive plant and producing vehicles with the best quality for customers by combining Toyota and Mazda’s manufacturing expertise and leveraging the joint venture’s synergies.”
MTMUS’s new plant is scheduled to begin production by 2021 and will eventually employ 4,000 people.