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.
Mazda Has No Plans For New Mazdaspeed3 Hot Hatch
Mazda has no plans to re-enter the hot hatch segment.
The debut of the all-new, fourth-generation Mazda3 at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show had many hoping for the return of the Mazdaspeed3, but a las, there will likely won’t be one.
Speaking to Australia’s , Mazda’s new global boss Akira Marumoto confirmed that there are no plans for a hot version of the Mazda3, citing the Japanese automaker’s small size and, presumably, the shrinking hatchback segment as primary reasons. He stated:
“Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda my answer would be no. Therefore we not planning for MPS in the future.”
Emblematized by its memorable Zoom Zoom tagline, Mazda’s internal philosophy to provide “driving pleasure” for its customer seems to be taking a backseat to its new-found pursuit of establishing itself as a genuine premium alternative to the likes of established European rivals, which Marumoto says will result in improved quality, comfort and refinement of its existing vehicle line-up.
The decision will surely upset driving enthusiasts, but it is what is it. The times are changing and little ol’ Mazda is just trying to stay afloat.
All-New Mazda3 Ups The Style And Technology
A crisper design, SkyActiv-X tech and AWD highlight the changes this time around.
Mazda has redesigned the Mazda3 from the ground up, giving it a head-turning design, available all-wheel drive, and the first application of its SkyActiv-X technology.
The fourth-generation Mazda3 sedan and hatchback borrow styling cues from the stunning Kai concept introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, but designers took the hatchback in a bolder direction by giving it an unusually steep sloping roof line. It’s clearly one of the most, if not the most, striking vehicles in a compact car segment that includes the much more utilitarian-looking Volkswagen Golf and Subaru Impreza.
Despite adopting a familiar design, the interior is cleaner and more elegant than before. An 8.8-inch screen on top of the dashboard for the infotainment system and can be controlled via a controller dial located just behind the gear selector.
The 2020 Mazda3 can be had with a choice of of a 1.5-, 2.0-, or 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, as well as a 1.8-liter turbodiesel engine. The standout powerplant has to be novel SkyActiv-X engine, which uses compression-ignition technology normally found in a diesel engine to burn gasoline and deliver superior fuel economy without sacrificing output.
Earlier report claimed there will also be a mild hybrid powertrain; if true, we suspect it will be launched later in the 3’s product life cycle.
Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, while all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are optional. That’s right, for the first time ever, the Mazda3 can be had with all-wheel drive!
The list of driving aids has grown and includes front cross traffic alert, a driver awareness monitor, and traffic jam assist with a steering assist function.
The 2020 Mazda3 made its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and goes on sale in early 2019. Are you happy with how it turned out?
Mazda Adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto To Older Vehicles
The Japanese automaker was slow to adopt the mobile apps, but now it’s out of the gate running.
Having only recently announced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the Mazda6, 2019 CX-5 and CX-9 in 2018, Mazda is now bringing the technology to 2014 model year vehicles and newer equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system.
Both can be added as a dealer installed accessory for only $199, cost of labor included. Drives get all hardware and software components, including faster-charging 2.1-amp USB ports and latest version of Mazda Connect.
Mazda says he installation only takes two hour. Owners with qualifying Mazda vehicles can their dealer now to make an appointment.
Yet another reason to get a Mazda, new or used…