Mazda has just garnered another award for its new i-stop system that debuted this year on the Axela (3) and Bianti MPV. This is Mazda's take on an automatic start/stop system to eliminate idling but with a novel new twist. Rather than just use a more robust starter and battery to crank up the engine every time you pull away from a stop, it takes advantage of the direct injection. The engine is stopped in a specific position each time (one of the pistons just below top dead center on the power stroke) and fuel is sprayed in directly and ignited. The expansion of the burning gas gets the piston moving and fires the engine with less strain on the starter.

Mazda has been recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism with one of its Eco-Product awards for 2009. Like other start stop systems, i-stop can provide up to a 10 percent reduction in consumption in urban driving thanks to the idle reduction.


[Sources: Mazda]


PRESS RELEASE:

Mazda Axela and Mazda Biante with i-stop Win 2009 Eco-Products Award in Japan

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the Mazda Axela (known overseas as the Mazda3) and Mazda Biante models equipped with its unique idling stop system, i-stop, have won the prestigious 2009 Eco-Products Award from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

The Eco-Products Awards were established in 2004. The awards are intended to encourage the spread of eco-friendly products in Japan and support the organizations that supply them through public recognition of excellence and by providing information about outstanding products and services that are less harmful to the environment.

Idling stop systems reduce fuel consumption by automatically shutting down the engine when the driver stops the vehicle. Mazda's i-stop system improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent (under Japan's 10-15 mode test cycle) and provides a natural driving feel, ensuring the driver experiences no sense of discomfort. Mazda's system stands out thanks to its quick combustion restart method that employs direct injection and special technology to control piston positions as the engine shuts down. With the potential to be introduced on a wide range of vehicles, i-stop is an effective and low-cost green technology.

The Eco-Products Award recognizes Mazda's development of this idling stop system, which features a smooth and quiet operation, and these two advanced vehicles that actively encourage eco-friendly driving.

The award ceremony will take place during the Eco-Products 2009 Exhibition that will run from December 10 through 12 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight). It is one of the largest exhibitions of environmentally-friendly products and services in Japan and is organized by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry (JEMAI) and the Nikkei newspaper group. As well as i-stop, Mazda will display various green technologies which demonstrate its efforts to harmonize driving pleasure with environmental performance. The exhibits will include Mazda's next-generation compact concept car, Mazda Kiyora; next-generation direct injection gasoline engine. SKY-G*; and next-generation clean diesel engine, SKY-D*.

* These are concept names given to engines and transmissions scheduled for introduction from 2011 onward.

The 6th Eco-Products Awards event is organized by the Eco-Products Awards Steering Committee.

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