• Feb 17th 2011 at 1:30PM
  • 41
2012 Mazda3 SkyActiv – Click above to enlarge

Mazda has announced that the company will employ its new SkyActiv technologies in the 2012 Mazda3. The vehicle is set to debut at Toronto's upcoming Canadian International Auto Show, and it will boast the Japanese automaker's much gabbed-about SkyActiv-G gasoline four-cylinder engine and SkyActive-Drive gearbox.

Mazda says that the two new pieces of hardware should help the Mazda3 deliver more torque at mid-range engine speeds, and that the trick should be good enough to increase fuel economy along the way. As you may recall, the SkyActiv-G engine is a direct-injection design with a low-friction block to minimize mechanical drag.

This will mark the first time that either the new engine or the gearbox has ever been offered in a production vehicle, and the company's designers have thrown in a few exterior tweaks to mark the occasion. Buyers can look forward to slightly revised bumpers front and rear as well as new 16- and 17-inch wheels. The more efficient Mazda3 is expected to land in dealerships by the end of this year. Hit the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Mazda]
Show full PR text
Refreshed 2012 Mazda3 Goes on Sale in Fall of 2011

(Toronto, ON): The sky's the limit at Mazda's display at the 2011 Canadian International AutoShow. Making its debut is the 2012 Mazda3, which, in addition to receiving a facelift, will also offer the option of Mazda's new SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine and SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission when it is launched later this fall. This initial application of Mazda's SKYACTIV engine and transmission technologies – the first time they will be employed in a production vehicle – will realize higher torque at low- and mid-range engine speeds resulting in better drivability with less fuel consumption in everyday driving.

Mazda Motor Corporation has been developing its new technologies under the SKYACTIV concept and they include completely new gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions and vehicle architectures. Mazda's SKYACTIV technologies will be launched successively beginning with the new gasoline engine and automatic transmission in 2011.

Mazda has stated that its goal is to improve fuel efficiency by 30 percent by 2015 (compared to 2008 levels). This will be accomplished through SKYACTIV technologies, which focus on improving the efficiency of internal combustion core technologies in association with vehicle weight reduction. Then, gradually, electrical devices such as idle-stop, regenerative braking and hybrid systems will be introduced to further improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

In addition to the new SKYACTIV engine and transmission offerings, the 2012 Mazda3 will receive new front and rear bumpers with a redesigned front grill, fog bezels and front headlamps. New 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels complete the 2012 exterior updates.

Another vehicle making its first appearance in Toronto is the new 2012 Mazda5 multi-activity vehicle. Since its introduction as a 2006 model, the Mazda5 has redefined the concept of compact transportation by offering seating for up to six people in three easily configurable rows, as well as with unique styling and driving dynamics not typical in vehicles of this type. Over 50,000 Mazda5s have been sold since its introduction to Canada and it is the second best selling nameplate in Mazda Canada's line-up.

The 2012 Mazda5, on sale now across Canada, incorporates motifs from Mazda's "Nagare" design language which, inspired by the beauty of nature, presents an elegant look not found in any existing vehicle today. Changes run deep under the skin too, as the vehicle is now powered by a 157-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Outstanding fuel economy and unexpected driveability are carried over from the previous model, as are the vehicle's sliding rear doors and flexible seating for up to six people. The 2012 Mazda5 is available in two trim grades with a starting price of $21,795.

Rounding out the Mazda display is the full line-up of 2011 models, including the Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-5, RX-8, Tribute, CX-9 and, of special note, the 2011 CX-7, which is now being offered with leather seating, or all-wheel-drive, below the $30,000 price point.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its not just that the NEW 3 will have the upcoming skyactiv engines and trans but what it means for all of us .
      Being D.I. we all know that means more hp and better mpg too . But Mazda has added a twist to this D.I. motor . Its raised compression way up to 14 to 1 !!!!
      This means all motors will be TORQUEY . --Better gas mileage and torquey ! sign me up .
      I think I'll take the next 2 since SYKACTIV also means LIGHT WEIGHT !
      With better trans both standard and automatic coming up too - just can't loose .
      ZOOM ZOOM --- Mazda will rocket in sales once these new engines / trans / lightweight cars hit the market .
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looking forward to the revised power and fuel economy figures.

      Mazda2 w/SkyActive incoming?
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about some figures? What does this new engine actually do for me besides give me a lot of capitalized buzzwords?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Basically Mazda created a diesel and gasoline engine that are near identical.

        They did this by the increasing gasoline direct injection compression ratio to 14:1 and reduced the diesel compression ratio to also 14:1. Basically its the world's highest gasoline engine compression ratio and world's lowest diesel engine compression ratio. For diesels it means less Nox emissions and more refinement, for the gasoline engine it means leaner engine.

        In addition they built the stop-go system using no additional batteries or alternator. The direct-injection system re-starts the engine by having the pistons in specific positions and injecting fuel at the right time and point. So no need for a mild-hybrid system, no additional weight or cost.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, read the PR on that stop-start system again. It still uses the starter.

        And stop-start doesn't need more batteries or more starter. All cars have a starter and a battery to run it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...what he said

        sky active shmy shmactive...show us some power and efficiency figures!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ spin cycle:

        Yes and no. True all cars have a battery and starter but they are not durable enough to cope with the demands that an idle-stop system places on them. All cars with the tech today have a beefier starter and battery. What Mazda did was engineer the engine and computer to stop the engine at a precise point so that it could take advantage of the idle-stop system without needing a stronger (and heavier) starter and battery.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Assuming the handling and fun are still going to be there, this change is exactly what was needed. The only drawback to the current Mazda3 is that it didn't get any better gas mileage than even the average mid-sized car. (And worse then some mid-sized) Now it sounds like it will competitive with other compact cars in gas mileage, and presumably beat them in sportiness. That's a winning formula!

      Now I wish I hadn't just bought a car a year and a half ago so that I'd be in the market for a new car. But I guess whatever is out in another 8 years or so when I am in the market will be even better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't SkyActive-Drive gearbox another word for 'automatic'? What about a manual?
        • 4 Years Ago
        A next-generation highly efficient automatic transmission that achieves excellent torque transfer efficiency through a wider lock-up range and features the best attributes of all transmission types

        * Combines all the advantages of conventional automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions, and dual clutch transmissions
        * A dramatically widened lock-up range improves torque transfer efficiency and realizes a direct driving feel that is equivalent to a manual transmission
        * A 4-to-7 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the current transmission
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't read. There is a manual as well, I guess we'll find out later what will be an option when the car is closer to being in the showroom.

        A light and compact next-generation manual transmission with crisp and light shift feel like that of a sports car, optimized for a front-engined front-wheel-drive layout

        * Short stroke and light shift feel
        * Significantly reduced size and weight due to a revised structure
        * More efficient vehicle packaging thanks to its compact size
        * Improved fuel economy due to reduced internal friction
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, I can read. I want to know if the ActiveG engine will also be paired to a manual or if auto is the only option.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As an owner of a 2007 Mazda3 the refresh is not that bad. The front end is less smiley and having this engine and tranny would improve gas mileage on the mazda 3
      • 4 Years Ago
      No matter what engine they throw in there, I will never be able to live with that Cheshire Cat smile. Or - I will not get caught driving a smiling Cheshire Cat with a silly grin on it's face.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This looks like something Kia would have designed 3 years ago. I think its time Mazda threw the the Nagare design language out the window. It doesn't work!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The smiley fascia really needs to go away....
        • 4 Years Ago
        I liked the Mazda 3 when I first saw it. I didn't even need time to "get used" to fascia, like so many have commented. I saw a playful car that was fun to drive, and getting behind the wheel and stick, I found that it delivered.

        Please don't mod me down for liking the fascia! :D But, given all the comments, it's probably a good thing Mazda is attenuating the grin.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it is selling despite the smiley face, not because of it. People are buying it based on price/value.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As much as we don't like it, it still sells really damn well.

        The Mazda3 is the #1 selling vehicle in all of Canada. I am pretty sure it is in the top 3 or 4 as far as C segment vehicle sales go here in the US.

        So, smiley or not, people like them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I still see a big smile...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thanks for catching up Mazda.
      Hey, the 2nd year of the Hyundai Elantra should have the direct injection 2.0 version of the Nu engine [are you listening HMUSA?], at least on the limited trim level.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The wheel/tire combo looks very 80's (i.e ugly!).........and the black matte look on the smiley face looks cheap! I am so pissed I didn't snag a 2009 while I had the chance!
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is a Canadian model. They have lower end 5-doors up there than we do, hence the 16" wheels.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ InTheDriversSeat

        Those are the 16" wheels on a base model hatchback, we don't even have this as an option here in the US.

        The US hatchback will still have the 17" wheels, 18" for the MS3.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i'm not sure of the look is growing on me, or if its just becoming less offensive. my inlaws have a smiley hatch in gray that looks nice, but i still prefer the previous gen more for looks.
        do not like the look for the new speed, i think the 2009 in white would have been nice (i have 07 black mica speed)
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