Mazda SkyActiv Technology
We all know first-hand that gas prices can be damaging to our wallets, and it isn’t likely that prices will drop any time soon. In response to this issue, car manufacturers are constantly working to find ways of increasing fuel efficiency. Honda’s response was what they call Earth Dreams technology. Though it has been effective in increasing fuel efficiency, no efforts have been as successful as Mazda SkyActiv technology. It makes us proud to be selling these environment-friendly vehicles at Mazda of Lodi.
SkyActiv engines have put up record numbers in fuel-only mpg ratings including 40 mpg highway for both the 2014 Mazda3 and 2014 Mazda6. Even the 2014 Mazda CX-5, a crossover SUV, is estimated at 35 mpg highway with a manual transmission. That number is higher than most smaller-sized sedans available on the market today.
The focus of SkyActiv technology is in the powertrain. The engines were designed to maximize combustion efficiency. Mazda found that anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of the energy contained in the fuel was lost before it was transferred to the tires. By playing off of this idea they were able to adjust the compression ratios which helped to increase fuel efficiency and torque by 15 percent.
Adding to increased fuel efficiency was the decision to decrease the overall weight of the vehicle by around 220 pounds. The loss comes in the form of a lightweight body and chassis which were built using new materials and construction methods. When the vehicles weigh more than 3000 pounds, the decrease doesn’t seem like much, but it actually improves the handling and stopping of the vehicle drastically. That in turn improves fuel economy even more, and it does so without compromising the safety of the vehicle. The SkyActiv-Body is still meets all of the highest crash safety standards in the world.
The SkyActiv technology is present in both automatic and manual transmissions. In the automatic, the lock-up range was maximized to improve fuel efficiency by four to seven percent, making the automatic run similarly to a manual transmission. Engine power is delivered from the torque converter to the transmission in the form of fluid. The fuel economy normally declines on this transfer as the vehicle speed falls short of the engine speed.
SkyActiv engines were designed with a lock-up clutch which stops the torque converter’s turbine to help improve fuel economy during the transfer of fluids. It is this feature which allows the automatic transmission to produce fuel economy numbers similar to a manual transmission.
Whether or not you are interested in the specifics of Mazda’s SkyActiv technology doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that it works, and it works well. The numbers don’t lie. Save yourself from the rising fuel prices and own a car with rising fuel efficiency. Believe the experts at Mazda of Lodi, you’ll be happy in the long drive.