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Showing that Toyota isn't Japan's only "green" carmaker, Mazda president and CEO Hisakazu Imaki (pictured) highlighted Mazda's environmental initiatives in a press conference leading in to this year's Tokyo Motor Show.

Imake said that Mazda's first priority is aggressive implementation of direct injection in Mazda's gas engines, to achieve lower emissions with good performance. Mazda's new JDM Atenza 2.3 liter turbo, for example, uses direct injection and achieves both 270 hp and SU-LEV classification (super ultra-low emissions vehicle: emissions 75 percent lower than 2005 Japanese requirements).

Direct injection also makes possible Mazda?s ?Smart Idling Stop System? that uses direct injection of fuel into a stopped engine to restart it without using a starter motor. This makes restarting after fuel-saving idle shutdown easier, quieter and more efficient.

Imaki outlined Mazda?s progress in developing hybrids with Ford, including upcoming pilot tests of hybrid Mazda Tributes in the U.S. He went on to say that Mazda would introduce production hybrids ?in the near future.?

Finally, he said Mazda is ahead of schedule with its hydrogen-fueled rotary engine, with a lease program for hydrogen RX-8s launching in early 2006.

[Tipped by Joel. Source: Mazda]

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