Tag Archives: SKYACTIV

Take a First Look at the all new 2014 Mazda3

Like the latest CX-5 and Mazda 6, it will have some degree of Skyactiv lightweight and fuel-saving technologies built in. Also, as a recent batch of spy photos clearly shows, it will inherit the 6’s and CX-5’s attractive Kodo design language. Stay tuned for more, but based on these leaked images, we can say this: The Mazda 3 is once again one of the most attractive small cars out there.

2014 Mazda 3 - Front Headlight Silhoutette

2014 Mazda 3 – Front Headlight Silhoutette

The next Mazda3, like the recently revamped 6, is a complete departure from the outgoing model, with virtually no lingering Ford DNA whatsoever. Following the anthropometric trend of gradually increasing size, the wheelbase stretches 2.4 inches to 106.3 and the width broadens by 1.6 inches, yielding 2.3 inches of front and 0.4 inch of rear shoulder room. The roofline drops by 0.6 inch for better aerodynamics.

2014 Mazda 3 - Front 3/4

2014 Mazda 3 – Front 3/4

In North America, the 3 will have two available engines. The 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine will produce 155 hp at 6000 rpm, and 150 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. The other engine is the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G that’s already found in the CX-5 and Mazda6, making 184 hp at 5700 rpm and 185 lb-ft at 3250 rpm. Another cool efficiency trick i-ELOOP brings: capacitors that store energy regenerated by the alternator during braking, another claimed world-first. Mazda’s new i-ELOOP suite of fuel-saving extras also includes active grille shutters that route air around the car except when the radiator absolutely needs it to cool the Skyactiv engines. Either engine comes with a choice of manual or automatic six-speed transmissions.

2014 Mazda 3 - Rear 3/4

2014 Mazda 3 – Rear 3/4

Inside, the big news is the HUD, which Mazda will integrate into all Mazda vehicles going forward as part of a “human-machine-interface” system. That conjures up images of cyborgs, but really the point is to combat driver distraction. We know the HUD display will carry all the normal driving info you’d expect, but it’s not clear what other information will be displayed. A suite of new safety-related “apps” utilizing cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and laser sensors is offered under the i-ACTIVESENSE moniker (maybe the hyphen and shout-case are to keep them out of trouble with Apple?), a pricey option package. Features include high-beam control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-obstruction warning, Smart City Brake Support (enhanced or automated braking, when a collision is anticipated at speeds under 19 mph), and radar cruise control.

2014 Mazda 3 - Dashboard layout

2014 Mazda 3 – Dashboard layout

Diesel? No plans to make a SKYACTIV-D version at this point. That could be code for pretty much anything in manufacturer-speak, so we’ll have to wait and see what direction Mazda goes there. Likely the reception of the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D will be the key factor in a possible diesel Mazda3, but our European and Japanese friends get the diesel engine right off the bat.

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2014 Mazda3 is rendered by artist following the brands new Kodo design language

We have to tip our hats to Autoguide.com as they have decided to use some of their graphics budget to pay someone to render what the next generation of the Mazda3 will look like. I’m personally a little pissed as I just purchased a new 2012 Skyactiv Mazda 3 two months ago because of its sporty ride fuel efficient engine and aggressive styling in this case on the Mazda3 sport model.  So when I saw the below artist rendering and loved it really only made me jealous.

An Artists rendering of what the 2014 Mazda3 could look like

Most significant are changes to the front fascia. Gone is the silly gen 2 smiley face and in its place we find a more angular and premium design, similar to that of the newly released Mazda6 images. Rumor has it that the  the new 3 will be an all-new light weight platform. Mazda has committed to reducing the weight of each of its new models by as much as 220 lbs, meaning the base curb weight for the 2014 model should sit around just 2,650 lbs.

The entry level engine on the new 2014 Mazda3 will be the current 2.0-liter 4-cylinder SkyActiv unit that is found in the current SkyActiv model sold today, which are tuned for 155 hp and 145 lb-ft or torque. . The only difference is that the engine bay will be designed to incorporate the 4:2:1 exhaust manifold that should allow the engine to run at 13:1 compression and slightly increase the torque figure to around 155 lb-ft and improve the engine sweet spot. I am even more jealous now as the current engine configuration is ultra sweet and the 6-speed automatic that sends the power to the front wheels is one of the best that I have driven lately and will perform just as well and in most situations better then the leading dual clutch designs that are current for sale.

For those wishing for a powerful Mazda3 that does not have a Mazdaspeed badge on it should be able to opt for a new 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine, which will produce as much as 189-hp in the upcoming 2014 Mazda6. Mazda is also reportedly considering a new 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine option for the US, which during the Mazda6 launch party was said to be able to produce roughly 170 hp and over 300 lb-ft of torque. That engine is confirmed for North America and will arrive in the new mid-size 6 sedan late in 2013. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these engine as with just under 8000km on my new SkyActiv Mazda3 I’m averaging just over 5.5 L/100km or right around 40 mpg, so I can only imagine what kind of numbers a SkyActiv diesel will be able to achieve.

When more official news gets leaked about the upcoming Mazda3 you can be sure that we will have it here so check back with us frequently and often to catch all of the breaking news.

If you are also interested in seeing the all new 2013 Mazda6 SkyActiv you can read all about it here: “All you need to know about the new 2014 Mazda6


All you need to know about the new 2014 Mazda6

Mazda is on a big push to improve the efficiency of all its new vehicles by using a suite of technologies called SkyActiv. The company already dropped a new 40-mpg SkyActiv four-cylinder engine into the 2012 Mazda3 (which I own and love), as well as launched the efficient 2013 CX-5 crossover, and now is following up with the 2014 Mazda6 sedan. Like the CX-5, the new midsizer is designed from the ground up to follow the SkyActiv mind set of reduced weight and improved efficiency. The car made its official debut at the Moscow Motor Show in Russia, and will go on sale around the world later this year.

The New 2014 Mazda6 – Front 3/4

Visually, the Mazda6 is the company’s latest expression of their Kodo (“Soul of Motion”) design language and draws heavily from the company’s well-received 2011 Takeri concept car. A widened, stretched version of Mazda’s five-point grille is employed and it’s perhaps the most attractive version of that design element to date. The grille is connected to the LED headlights via shiny bits, a design tactic reminiscent of the new BMW 3 Series.

According to chief designer Akira Tamatani, “We have created a design in which the wild and dynamic expressions of motion artistically realize a powerful presence.” The color seen here is called Soul Red, and was enveloped by Mazda to accentuate the shapes of the new 6.

The New 2014 Mazda6 – Side View

At least in the cars shown in Russia, the 2014 Mazda6 will launch with an initial choice of two new four-cylinder gasoline engines, the SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter that generates 155hp at 6,000rpm and 145 lb-ft at 4,000rpm and the SkyActiv-G 2.5-liter delivering 189hp at 5,700rpm and 189 lb-ft at 3,250rpm. Both powerplants will be offered with 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions and a standard i-stop idling stop system.

The New 2014 Mazda6 – Rear 3/4

The 2.5-liter unit will also be the first Mazda engine to employ the brand’s new i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system that begins charging a capacitor the moment the driver takes his foot off the accelerator. The electricity stored is used to power electric components throughout the car instead of the engine thus resulting in further improvements in fuel economy.

The New 2014 Mazda6 – Interior

 

Mazda promises that the tactility of the driver-touch materials and overall quality of the cabin design will be a dramatic step forward compared to the current car. NVH levels – a bugbear of the current range – have also been tackled. Safety features include Rear Vehicle Monitoring, Smart City Brake Support and Adaptive Front Lighting with High-Beam Control.

The North American specification version of the Mazda6 sedan as well as the Station Wagon model will premiere at the Paris Motor Show in late September, with more details about the powertrain choices that will include a diesel engine to be announced later.


Choices, Choices, Mazda’s next Gen MX-5 Miata can’t decide which engine to use

Back in December of last year we reported that a new 1.3-liter turbo four pot was the leading contender as the engine of choice for the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata.  However it now appears that Mazda has only ruled out some engine options in their quest to fine the perfect power plant for their fun to drive roadster.

Current Mazda MX-5 Miata

In fact Motor Trend reported yesterday on their web site that the new naturally aspirated 1.5-liter Skyactiv engine wasn’t sporty enough for the 2,200 pounder.  They also mentioned that cash strapped Mazda had already ruled out revising the current cars 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four banger due to pour fuel consumption numbers when compared to today’s 40mpg standard.

This makes us wonder if Mazda could even afford to borrow more money for their engine department to do more R & D on another new engine.  They are currently still in the Skyactiv technology fine tuning process on a larger sized engine to be used in the next gen Mazda 6.  Then there are the rumors swirling around about how they are in the preliminary stages of designing a more efficient Skyactiv version of the old 1.3-liter rotary engine that was used in the outgoing RX8 model.  Only Mazda would know if there are enough coins in the coffer to begin development on a engine compromise, say a 1.8-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder or either a 1.3-liter or 1.5liter turbocharged four.

2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Artist’s Rendering

Regardless of how Mazda solves their current engine dilemma one point is clear.  The automaker plans on having around 150-hp and a 10-percent increase in fuel economy compared to the current MX-5 which has 22/28 city/highway mpg or 10.7/8.4 L/100km.  Combine that with the fact that the car is a 2,200 lb 2-seeter sports car it would be a lot of fun to drive on the twisty stuff.

You can find our Original December rumor mill article here: “The 2014 Mazda MX-5 to be powered by a 1.3-liter Turbo Engine


2014 Mazda Miata is re-rendered to look more masculine

We have come across some updated artists renderings of the 2014 Mazda Miata showing off the cars more masculine side.  We have never been attracted to the old Miata or MX-5 as it has always come across as being more of a hair dressers car, much like the VW beetle.  Unlike the New 2012 Beetle if the new images of the Miata may finally have converted us away from thinking this a sole a chick car and more of a light weight sports car.

2014 Mazda Miata Artist’s Rendering

The aggressive narrow new headlights and day time running LED light strips flank the Takeri Concept car inspired grill.  We love the lines flowing over the front wheels into the side heat vents and side chrome molding that is very Aston Martin like.

We have previously reported on all of the SkyActiv engine component as well as the 1.3-liter turbo engine that has been rumored to be powering this light weight two seater so we won’t flog a dead horse here.  Instead we will just refer you to our previous article titled “The 2014 Mazda MX-5 to be powered by a 1.3-liter Turbo Engine”.

It is important that these images are only artist’s rendering and do not represent the official car yet.  We hope that the continual stream of leaked renderings will remain true to the new car because we love the new direction the 2014 Mazda Miata is heading.  It feel strange saying that as we have never once cut someone else’s hair and only eat raw red meat while drinking beer and watching football.

2014 Mazda Miata Artist’s Rendering


Mazda lets us Glimpse into their Future with the Mazda Takeri Concept

Yesterday at the 42 Tokyo Motor Show Mazda unveiled its latest concept car called the Takeri.  The car has mid-sized car dimensions and features Mazda’s breakthrough SKYACTIV technology and a design theme called KODO.

All of the speculation at the show has this model being the next generation Mazda 6 which could be a breath of fresh air as lower than expected sales continue to plague the current generation Mazda 6.  Takeri is a “four-door coupe” with a prominent grille, muscular fenders and 20-inch alloy wheels.  Overall, it measures 4,850mm long, 1,870mm wide and 1,430mm tall.  Power comes from a 2.2-liter SKYACTIV diesel engine that is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission.  Thanks to start/stop technology and the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system which doesn’t use batteries instead it uses a low-resistance electric double layer capacitor.

This cutting edge technology has allowed Mazda to estimate that the Takeri will be able to travel approximately 1,500 km (932 miles) between fill ups.

We’re not sure if it has peak your interest like it has ours?  However all we can think about now is whether it will be branded as a 2013 or 2014 model?  Either way it won’t be soon enough as the Mazda 6 needs to have new life infused into the brand asap.