Mazda Previews SKY Family Of Next-Generation Engines

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Mazda SKY-D diesel engine

Mazda SKY-D diesel engine

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Mazda will showcase at next month’s 2009 Tokyo Motor Show its next-generation of powertrain technologies, which include two new engines and an advanced automatic transmission. Grouped under the ‘SKY’ family of technologies, Mazda will be showing the new SKY-G direct injection gasoline engine, SKY-D clean diesel engine, and SKY Drive high-efficiency automatic transmission.

The new technologies are part of Mazda’s greater goal of improving its average fuel economy of vehicles 30% by 2015 compared to 2008 levels. Mazda is committed to significantly improving the core aspects of its vehicles that affect performance--engines, transmissions, and lighter vehicle weight--in order to achieve fuel economy gains without hurting the ‘Zoom-Zoom’ philosophy.

Mazda SKY Drive transmission

Mazda SKY Drive transmission

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The new engines and transmissions are due to be introduced from 2011 onward.

First up is the SKY-G, a direct injection gasoline engine with significantly improved fuel economy and output performance due to enhanced thermal efficiency. The engine block is newly designed to reduce mechanical friction and achieve an optimal air-fuel mix, and is further improved with direct injection.

Specifically, fuel economy and torque are improved by approximately 15% compared to Mazda’s current 2.0-liter engine. This was achieved by adopting new fuel injectors and more efficient valve timing. The engine enables fuel economy equivalent to the compact Mazda2 to be achieved in a vehicle the size of a Mazda3.

Next is the SKY-D clean diesel engine, which boasts high fuel economy and output performance as well as low exhaust emissions. The newly designed engine block reduces mechanical friction to the level of a gasoline engine.

By employing piezo injectors, a two-stage turbocharger and other technologies, fuel economy becomes approximately 20% better than the company’s current 2.2-liter diesel engine. Mazda has achieved fuel economy equivalent to the current Mazda2 in a vehicle the size of a Mazda6 with this engine.

Finally, there is the new SKY-Drive automatic transmission. It improves fuel economy by approximately 5%, due to a complete redesign that significantly reduces mechanical friction, a revised torque converter and clutch with minimized slip, and an optimized lock-up mechanism. A rapid clutch action was achieved by identifying the minimum amount of fluid necessary, making shifts feel almost like a dual clutch transmission.

Also on show in Tokyo will be Mazda’s Kiyora minicar concept, first seen at last year’s Paris Auto Show. The Kiyora is a preview of Mazda’s next-generation minicar and promises a fuel economy of 75 mpg. Click here for a more detailed report.

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