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Mazda unveils 1.3-litre SkyActiv-G engine

Frugal: Mazda's super-economical SkyActiv-G 1.3-litre direct-injection petrol will be added to the Mazda2/Demio line-up in Japan in the next few weeks.

Australia waits as Mazda confirms hybrid-like economy for 1.3-litre SkyActiv Mazda2

19 May 2011

MAZDA has taken the wraps off an ultra-economical 1.3-litre version of its ground-breaking SkyActiv direct-injection four-cylinder engine family ahead of its debut in the Mazda2 light car in Japan in coming weeks.

As it has done in relation to ‘Sky’ technology due in the upgraded Mazda3 later this year – including a 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine – Mazda Australia this week said it was unable to confirm exact timing or other specific details for our market.

In Japan, where the Mazda2 is sold as the Demio, the so-called SkyActiv-G 1.3 is being billed as the first-ever 1.3-litre direct-injection petrol engine to be equipped in a Japanese-built compact car.

Combined with engine idle-stop and a continuously variable transmission, the Mazda2 achieves super-efficient fuel economy of 30km/L under Japan’s 10-15 mode test cycle, which is equivalent to 3.3L/100km – the figure Mazda promised the Sky-powered Demio would achieve as far back as October last year, without providing specifics on displacement.

With the engine on display at an automotive engineering expo in Tokyo this week, Mazda has now confirmed that, as expected, the Mazda2’s first taste of SkyActiv technology comes with a 1298cc engine with the same “record high” 14.01:1 compression ratio as the forthcoming 2.0-litre version in the facelifted Mazda3.

 center imageLeft: Updated Mazda3 with SkyActiv technology. Below: Development mule of Mazda6 SkyActiv.

Maximum outputs are listed at 62kW of power at 5400rpm and 112Nm of torque at 4000rpm, although these figures, and those for mileage, are specific to the Japanese market at this stage.

As we have reported, Mazda senior engineers told GoAuto at a preview drive of SkyActiv technologies in Europe last year that Australian-spec engines would come with 13.0:1 compression due to our lower-octane (91 RON) regular unleaded petrol.

While Mazda Australia has committed to introducing SkyActiv engines in every passenger car model line, the company is likely to be waiting for a 1.5-litre variant – widely expected to be one of the next SkyActiv engines announced – before introducing the technology into the Mazda2 here.

In Australia, the compact car is powered by a 76kW/135Nm 1.5-litre ‘MZR’ 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine (with sequential valve timing) that returns 6.4L/100km when tested on the Australian combined-cycle standard with a five-speed manual, and 6.8L/100km with a four-speed automatic.

A 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G engine is also understood to be in the works, along with a range of capacities for the ‘SkyActiv-D’ diesel line that will arrive here in 2012.

Mazda says the 1.3-litre petrol version in the Mazda2 – which has been facelifted to coincide with the engine introduction – adopts the full gamut of SkyActiv engine technologies except for the exhaust manifold.

It is also said to feature other new components that are exclusive to the light car, such as a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGS) system.

Other next-generation technologies developed under the ‘SkyActiv’ banner, such as a new body and chassis, will be rolled out on fully redesigned vehicles, with the first expected to be the 2012 CX-5 SUV.

Mazda Motor Corporation is working to reduce its global fleet fuel consumption by 30 per cent by 2015, compared with 2008 levels.

Mazda Australia spokesman Steve Maciver this week reaffirmed to GoAuto the Australian subsidiary’s broad plans for the new technology, saying “SkyActiv engines will eventually appear on every model in the Mazda passenger car range”.

“I’m not yet able to confirm further details on which models will be the first and exactly when they’ll appear, but I can confirm that we are very much on track with our commitment to launch the SkyActiv-G petrol engine with SkyActiv-Drive transmission in Australia sometime this year, with the SkyActiv-D diesel engine following in 2012.”

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1st of January 1970

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