• Jul 22, 2007


Recently we blogged about vehicles getting heavier and the general consensus was that they were better off with the added safety and improved features of a new car. Now we have Mazda, who has managed to remove 100kg from its new Mazda2 supermini over the previous model. With the weight loss the 1.3L and 1.5L models come in at 955kg and 960kg respectively.

Mazda has now released information on how they achieved these savings with better engineering techniques and a smaller overall car. Reducing the size of the new model – another trend bucked – resulted in a 20kg loss, while the removal of some features also contributed another 20kg. The other 60kg was done by reducing the weight of the front seats (2.5kg), suspension (13kg), front speakers (1kg), and the electrical system at 2.9kg.

Reducing weight has resulted in the car achieving better than expected MPG ratings (53MPG on the combined cycle) and also helped improve agility. Now if only someone could implement the same types of programs on, say, a Cadillac Escalade...

[Source: Mazda]

PRESS RELEASE

The all-new Mazda2 is the product of a lightweight mindset at Mazda's R & D community. Engineers are striving to reduce the vehicle weight of new Mazda products as a way to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while continuing to deliver the agile handling and safety attributes Mazda customers expect. The new Mazda2 is a milestone in this respect: almost 100 kg lighter than the previous Mazda2, it reverses the trend towards ever-heavier vehicles while being safer and even more fun to drive.

Engineering solutions achieved 60 percent of this weight saving, including the savings in the body shell, which has an optimised structure and uses high and ultra-high tensile steels for less weight, with greater rigidity and better crash resistance. Another 20 percent were saved by features adjustments and 20 percent by making the car's exterior dimensions smaller – while employing skilful packaging to retain generous interior dimensions.

Mazda2 engineers reduced weight by:

- use of high and ultra-high tensile steels for lighter (and stronger) body and joint reinforcements
- shortening the trailing arm of the rear suspension and giving the front lower arms an open-section design
- making the bonnet striker assembly smaller, the hinges thinner
- eliminating the underfloor catalyst (1.3-litre model)
- moving the fresh-air inlet to the top of the radiator shroud (doing away with the need for a resonator and baffle)
- making the wiring harness shorter
- changing the door-mounted speaker magnets to neodymium types and making the plastic moulding single-piece
- decreasing the length of the vehicle by 40 mm and height by 55 mm

These weight-saving measures make the new Mazda2 a trendsetter for fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions. It delivers some of the B-segment's lowest fuel consumption, from just 52.3 mpg on the combined cycle, while producing just 129 g/km of CO2.

Source: Mazda


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  • 46 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      This makes it much easier on the back when me and the boys troll the streets to pick these up and toss them on the flat bed.

      Thanks mazda!

      $$$
      • 7 Years Ago
      So basically, what you are saying is, cars are not heavier because it means they are safer, they are heavier because of engineering teams that do not make weight a goal of the car, so they stuff what ever components they have into it even if its heavy or design components of the car heavier then it needs to be.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, poor engineering. Or rather, bean counters interfering with engineering and thus pushing heavier/cheaper components. With the government finally begins pushing cafe standards we'll start seeing "incredible" weight saving technology that's been used in other industries for over a decade.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yup. That's basically it.

        Heavy doesn't equal safety. Ever see an Escalade crash into a wall at 200MPH and still be safe like an F1 car?

        Heavy = poor engineering. Unless it's a truck, maybe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hopefully Mazda will do something about the overly heavy CX-7 and CX-9, seeing as they get the same or worse gas mileage than an Escalade.
        • 7 Years Ago
        When you drive them conservatively, as I do, they will return 15 - 16 in urban driving and 19-20 hwy. Most CX-9 tests report a whopping 14 combined. I got 14 MPG pulling a 3,500 pound car on a 1,500 pound trailer from Green Bay to Chicago...
        • 7 Years Ago
        in what world does an Escalade get 20+ mpg on the highway or 15 in town? I have friends who own them and get 13ish combined, and I read a review (on Edmunds I thing) where they were averaging 9!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Didn't Ford say the '08 Focus would weigh less than the outgoing model?
      • 7 Years Ago
      this car is easily the most desirable vehicle in its class, mostly because it is the lightest. its a shame it will never be sold here. hopefully this starts a armsrace for lighter and lighter cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        But the US will never see it as just over 2,000 pounds...not with our politicians need for ungodly amounts of emissions controls and safety systems.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A Scion Xa weighs 2340 lbs with a 1.5L engine.
      A Hondo Fit weighs 2432 lbs also with a 1.5L engine.
      Both are 4 door hatchbacks.

      A Yaris sedan weighs 2293 lbs also with a 1.5L engine.

      How does the Mazda2 compare in size? Does it meet US safety regulations?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Given that the average USA citizen is approaching 25kg overweight, this simply maintains the status quo
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just reminds me how much I long for the simple cars and just how far away from them we have come.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well I hear Ford will bring the Fiesta which is based on this Mazda but again, will be heavier and bigger because of "US's customers tastes"....
      • 7 Years Ago
      @Vega

      Well Stephan, what you don't get is that the majority of vehicles here are over 2 tons and have over 250 hp. Therefore in comparison to your overwhelming majority of teeny tiny cars and mopeds that are the norm for you, the chance of getting run into by a large vehicle is greater for Americans.

      Think of it like an aquarium, your car is the guppy. In an aquarium full of guppys, you're plenty safe, in an aquarium of sharks, your dinner.

      I'm not saying you can't be safe in you're guppy car but if a shark runs into you, you don't have a chance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      RE: mass is a good thing in and of itself...

      I suppose a pickup truck becomes safer in a crash if it's fully loaded with well strapped down cargo?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, it does.

        Provided the safety cage holds up and you aren't crushed by deforming structure, injuries are caused by acceleration.

        In any collision between two bodies, a body with more mass will undergo less severe accelerations - and will inflict more severe acceleration on the other body.
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