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Mazda SkyActiv® Technology

New York Times Review
By: Lawrence Ulrch
March 9, 2012

Although the Mazda arrived relatively late, it turns out to be the life of the party. Long the sportiest, most rewarding car to drive in its class, the 3 is now the only one that effortlessly tops 40 miles per gallon in real-world driving.
Let's repeat that: The Mazda 3 is the best performer in the class, and it has the best mileage. That's a pretty unbeatable combination.
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The Basics:
The engineers at Mazda have been hard at work trying to make their mark on the history of the combustion engine.  After years of planning and design, their dream has come to fruition. The Mazda SkyActiv-G engine is a 2.0L marvel that produces 15% more low/mid-range torque while reducing fuel consumption and emissions by 15%.
How Did Mazda Accomplish This:
How did Mazda engineers reduce fuel consumption and increase power? Basically, by maintaining a cooler engine temperature to allow for increased compression ratios.  Let's look at a few key design factors:

The Mazda SkyActiv® engine is a gas direct injection engine, meaning that the gasoline is fired directly into the combustion chamber. Direct injection engines generally fire the gasoline in a single stream, but the Mazda engineers designed the SkyActiv® engine to fire multiple streams which allows for better mixture with the air, a cooler engine, and it helps set the stage for higher compression ratios. 

The Mazda engineers also redesigned the SkyActiv® piston.  The new piston is shaped somewhat like a volcano as opposed to the traditional cylindrical piston shape. This shape allows for a decrease in heat, increased compression ratios without the fear of uncontrolled combustion aka "knocking". In addition to this redesign the engineers decreased the engine weight and friction.   

The new SKYACTIV®-Drive six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly for steady acceleration and quickly for the connected feel of a manual transmission, while the advanced control module delivers precision responsiveness and reliability.

Mazda has also redesigned the vehicle frame, making it 8% lighter but 30% more rigid to avoid compromising strength and stability, which contributes to the improved fuel economy.

Just scratching the surface, you can see the Mazda engineers have been hard at work on their exciting and revolutionary new design!  



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