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What is SkyActiv technology?

Mazda Are Leading The Way In Terms Of Car Technology. Skyactiv Is Mazda's Most Recent Development, But What Exactly Is it?

Mar 26, 2014

What is SkyActiv technology?

If you're looking for a new car that offers great fuel economy you've probably come across the term 'SkyActiv technology'. Many car manufacturers have spent the last few years pioneering more efficient engines and innovations such as Ford's EcoBoost engines have proved to be extremely popular with new car buyers. SkyActiv technology has been developed by Japanese car giant Mazda over the last few years and describes a range of technological advances which make their cars safer, better to drive and more efficient. Keep reading to find out more about SkyActiv and the benefits it offers.

SkyActiv technology - cleaner petrol and diesel engines rather than electric cars

In the last few years many car manufacturers have had to make a decision about whether they wanted to develop an electric car or concentrate on making their existing engines more efficient. From early on, Mazda's strategy in regard to vehicle electrification has been simple: they weren't going to develop one. Instead, the company decided to focus on clean petrol and diesel powertrains, not electric cars. Mr Wager from Mazda said: "Everyone was coming out with EVs or hybrids, and Mazda made the decision that we're not going to try to change the way that people normally drive. Mazda decided to find a way to affect everything in the car in order to get consumers to the same goal: be environmentally conscious as well as get better fuel economy."

What is SkyActiv technology?

SkyActiv is a group of elements including improved engines and transmissions, sleeker external designs and 'lightweighting' of structural components that bring substantial fuel-economy, safety and other benefits to Mazda vehicles. But what does it mean? Russell Wager, Mazda's CMO in the USA, told Forbes magazine: "It's not easy to understand. But when it's explained to consumers and they do understand it, their propensity to put the [Mazda] brand on their shopping lists increases dramatically." Unlike some other car brands, which tend to concentrate on one or two key technologies, SkyActiv is a more holistic approach. It includes everything from lightweight body structures, to innovative engines and even a philosophy for running the company itself and its manufacturing facilities. As Jeff Guyton, head of Mazda in Europe, said: "SkyActiv makes Mazda itself more efficient."

Three main benefits of SkyActiv technology

SkyActiv has concentrated on three main areas. First, it has seen Mazda make its engines more efficient. Its new engine boasts a compression ratio of 14:1 - the lowest of any mass produced diesel engine in the world. This has resulted in a 20 per cent boost in fuel economy and a 20 per cent drop in CO2 emissions - giving drivers cheaper road tax and 'benefit in kind' bills. The petrol engine has also been improved, giving a 15 per cent boost in fuel economy and 15 per cent drop in harmful CO2 emissions. Its compression ratio is higher than a Formula One engine. In addition to boosting mileage yields in its engines, Mazda has also focused on making aerodynamic design improvements to its cars. Most Mazda models are now lighter than before with the company using high-tensile steel that is lighter but stronger than conventional steel. Thirdly, Mazda has made its transmissions more efficient. Its lightweight six speed manual gearbox delivers crisp gear changes while the automatic transmission with advanced torque convertor and lock up clutch delivers up to a 7 per cent improvement in fuel economy. Mazda North America President and CEO Jim O'Sullivan believes that SkyActiv cars are set to become globally popular. He said: "We think they're going to make a huge splash, especially when you consider how our clean diesel technology addresses growing consumer concerns about rising fuel costs and the environment."

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