Mazda Vehicles In Grandville, Michigan

How Mazda Stays Green Without A Hybrid

June 28th, 2011

Like all automakers, Mazda is quickly developing technologies that improve fuel economy as well as the brand’s eco credentials. However, Mazda is far smaller than some of its Japanese rivals, and doesn’t have the means to introduce advanced vehicles like the Prius, or vehicles to take on the latest slew of hybrids from Korea.

While a smaller firm like Mazda may appear to be falling behind when it comes to electric technology, the automaker is launching SKYACTIV technology to help its lineup stay green.

2012 Mazda3 SKYACTIV engine imageSKYACTIV is a more pragmatic approach to boosting efficiency throughout Mazda’s lineup. The initiative focuses on reducing weight, and utilizing existing technology in new ways without the expense of radical, all-new technology. SKYACTIV includes new gasoline and diesel engines that are 10 percent lighter and 15 percent more fuel efficient than engines they will eventually replace. But Mazda also aims to retain driving pleasure, which is usually forsaken in hybrids.

“The problem with many of the more fundamental changes from other car firms is that they require some sacrifice in terms of performance and driving pleasure,” said Mazda Motor Europe’s chief operating officer, Philip Waring. “Our aim is to achieve environmental improvements while retaining all the driving enjoyment. Even by 2020, the vast majority of cars on our roads will be driven by internal combustion engines, and there is still a lot that can be done to improve their environmental performance.”

Mazda has already begun rolling out SKYACTIV powertrains. The first application will be available in the U.S. later this year within the updated Mazda3. Although a hybrid won’t be in showrooms anytime soon, Mazda’s latest tech should help the brand stay in the ‘green’ motoring game for now.


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