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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Transport & Construction | Mazda Zoom-Zoom and the environment
Masda car

and the environment


Cars are essential in today’s world – the task is to discover ways of lessening their impact and ensuring their sustainability through effective environmental technologies. Carmaker, Mazda, explains why they are focusing on the base technologies used and the pursuit of the ideal combustion.

Based in Hiroshima, Japan’s City of Peace, Mazda is a global carmaker with sales in over 130 countries, including emerging markets, despite the company’s relatively small size. Mazda’s main product line-up delivers a Zoom-Zoom brand promise from the B-car through the mid-size SUV segments, with models powered primarily by the world’s most widely adopted engine, the in-line four-cylinder. The commitment of the Mazda brand is to deliver a highly distinctive fun-to-drive experience combined with outstanding environmental and safety performance to every customer.

More than 40 years ago, Mazda became the first automaker to mass produce the Wankel rotary engine. This same passion was applied to the development of the upcoming state-of-the-art SKYACTIV engines, reflecting their determination to take on a challenge and achieve a technological breakthrough as significant as the original rotary engine.

In 2008, Mazda committed to improving the average fuel economy of its global fleet by 30% by 2015. To realise this goal, the company will introduce a new powertrain (the entire components that generate and deliver a car’s power) in 2011. This is named SKYACTIV, reflecting both that the sky is the limit – anything is possible – and a resolve to embrace unconventional thinking in the pursuit of ultimate efficiency.

Reaching ideal combustion

Developed as the core engine technology for future Mazda cars, it features a number of technological breakthroughs, resolving seemingly irreconcilable challenges and bringing the world closer to achieving ideal combustion rates. SKYACTIV engines are also the first in the world to realise a 14:1 compression ratio for both the petrol and diesel variants.

Mazda’s thorough re-examination of combustion characteristics boosts the fuel efficiency of the next-generation petrol engine by 15% and its level of torque output by just as much. The next-generation diesel engine has also improved radically in combustion and reduced mechanical resistance, achieving a 20% improvement in fuel efficiency over Mazda’s current 2.2-litre diesel engine, as well as a dramatic improvement in torque output at both low and high speeds.

Building Block Strategy

In recent years, vehicles equipped with new electric devices, such as hybrid and electric vehicles, have appeared on the market, and we have now reached an age where the performance of a vehicle is measured as a combination of both conventional technologies used in the engine, transmission, body and chassis, together with electric devices.

However, it is forecast that, even in 2020, the majority of vehicles other than electric vehicles, including hybrid cars, will be using internal combustion engines.

For this reason, Mazda has adopted the Building Block Strategy, whereby electric devices are gradually launched after thorough improvements have been made to what they define as the ‘base technology’, the conventional technology that forms the core of all vehicles. This is their unique approach. Rather than relying heavily on a small selection of environmentally-focused vehicles such as electric cars, the company aims to deliver a highly distinctive fun-to-drive experience combined with outstanding environmental and safety performance to all their customers throughout the world. By doing so, they reduce CO2 emissions without heavily burdening society or individuals. This multi-tiered approach is part of an overall quest to build highly appealing cars and also contribute to environmental conservation.

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