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Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called "Axela" in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.

The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid is fuel consumption estimated at something like 74 miles per gallon.

Mazda thinks that CNG-powered vehicles are due for an uptick in demand, and the company believes this new powertrain will add valuable breadth to the Mazda3 range. The CNG Concept is actually a duel-fuel vehicle, capable of running on either natural gas or gasoline. In fact, we're told that the high compression ratio (14:1) inherent in Skyactiv-technology gasoline engines makes conversion to CNG particularly simple.

Perhaps more interesting is the unveiling of Mazda's first-ever hybrid powertrain, aptly named Skyactiv-Hybrid. The new system, which is only slated for the Japanese market at this point, connects an electric motor to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, using it to assist at low engine speeds and under low-load conditions. The electric motor is supplied by a nickel-metal hydride battery of unstated capacity.

The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid in the Mazda3 is fuel consumption estimated at 3.2 liters per 1,000 kilometers on the lenient Japanese cycle, or something like 74 miles per gallon, and total system output of around 134 horsepower (136 PS).

You'll find slightly more information about the Skyativ-Hybrid and the Skyativ-CNG Concept in the press release below.
Show full PR text
Mazda3 SKYACTIV-Hybrid

Mazda's first hybrid: It's another major milestone for Sustainable Zoom-Zoom, Mazda's vision to deliver the best of all motoring worlds. The electric-petrol drive will initially power the all-new Mazda3*, which is also making its Japanese debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

The latest addition to the SKYACTIV family, the SKYACTIV-Hybrid uses an electric motor to assist the SKYACTIV petrol engine, especially at low engine speeds and during low load operation. The engine, a specially modified SKYACTIV-G 2.0, features ultra-high 14:1 compression, a 4-1 exhaust manifold and unique control systems for more efficient combustion over a wider operating range. It also utilises exhaust gas recirculation, recovering exhaust heat to reduce warm-up times and allow more fuel-saving engine stops.

So much for efficient power production. To get it to the front wheels, a transaxle splits output from the SKYACTIV-G into drive power and generator power. In doing so, it transfers the most effective combination of output from the petrol engine and electric motor. The result: seamless, linear acceleration. A power control unit, meanwhile, steps battery power up and down to supply the electric motor, auxiliary equipment and auxiliary battery, in the process optimising the electricity supply the motor and elsewhere. Computer monitoring of the nickel-metal hydride battery's current, voltage and temperature, among other things, helps maintain the ideal battery status and enhance its durability.

The upshot: The all-new Mazda3 SKYACTIV-Hybrid is remarkably frugal, consuming only 3.2l/100km according to Japan's JC08 test cycle. And with a total system output of 100kW (136PS), it is also exceptionally fun to drive.
Down to the details

An uncompromising hybrid from an uncompromising carmaker: The engine sound is even tuned to match engine speed and acceleration for a genuinely Mazda Jinba Ittai rider-and-horse-as-one driving experience. Yet another highlight is the SKYACTIV-Hybrid's cooperative brake energy regeneration setup, which consists of regenerative brakes employing an electric motor as well as hydraulic brakes.

The two systems work together not only to ensure outstanding linear braking, but also to maximise the recovery of energy, which is then converted to electricity to further improve fuel economy.

Of course, the all-new Mazda3 SKYACTIV-Hybrid comes with the same cutting-edge safety technology, connectivity, interior design and layout as any other Mazda3. And the same head-turning "KODO – Soul of Motion" exterior, lightweight SKYACTIV-Body, and the superb handling of the SKYACTIV-Chassis. So it's just as safe, just as enjoyable, and even more fuel efficient. Mazda continues to defy convention, and it's quite exciting...

Mazda will showcase the recently launched Mazda3 with a variety of engine types at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The latest model is now offered as a 'multi-solution' in response to diversifying fuel types. Beside news on the already released SKYACTIV gasoline, hybrid (for Japan) and diesel-engine models, the Japanese carmaker presents for the first time a Mazda3 SKYACTIV-CNG Concept, which runs on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Alongside new-generation models, the displays show Mazda's most recent technologies and hint at the direction of future models. The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show opens to the public on November 23 at Tokyo Big Sight.*

The Mazda3 is a core model in the Mazda line-up accounting for more than thirty per cent of the company's global sales volume, and it is the third of Mazda's new generation vehicles to be completely redesigned. Mazda is proposing the new Mazda3 as a 'multi-solution.' Capable of using a diverse range of energy sources, every model still offers Mazda's trademark fun-to-drive experience. Furthermore, regardless of fuel-type, all models in the Mazda3 line-up feature SKYACTIV engines - a testament to the versatility of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.

Based on an increasing demand for CNG-powered vehicles, the SKYACTIV-CNG Concept adopts a dual fuel system that runs on both gasoline and CNG. Since CNG engines burn fuel at high pressure and the SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine already achieves a high compression ratio it can easily be modified for CNG with only minor modifications.

Vehicles with CNG engines reduce emissions by about 20 per cent compared to those with gasoline engines of the same displacement. The SKYACTIV-HYBRID models - on sale only for Japan - pair an electric motor with a specially-designed 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine. It realizes both exhilarating driving performance and outstanding fuel economy performance. Also on stage in Tokyo is the Mazda Atenza (Mazda6) ASV-5 which is equipped with futuristic safety systems. In a world-first, one of these systems enables automobiles with an in-car autonomous sensor to communicate with streetcars, helping to prevent collisions and support a smooth and safe flow of traffic.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Zai
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good to see Mazda bringing it in terms of Tech. SkyActiv packaging (not just the engines) and these alternative fuel/hybrid drivetrains look like they kick major *ss on paper. Also clear to me, since Mazda is making huge strides as a company, that Ford was holding Mazda back in terns of tech and styling when they had a controlling interest in the company for all those years.
        john96xlt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zai
        Ford kept Mazda afloat for years, without Ford's cash, Mazda would've folded long ago. Their success now is mostly based off the first two generations of the 3, which were Ford-based.
          aviboy97
          • 1 Year Ago
          @john96xlt
          John96xlt- Your statement is incorrect, sir. Yes. For did help Mazda, but Mazda also helped Ford. The Mazda3 is and has always been developed by Mazda, with parts shared with Ford. Outside of the platform basis, the rest was Mazda including the engines and transmissions. Ford can thank Mazda for the original Fusion, as it was a virtual copy of the original Mazda6. Ford saved billions in development by raiding the Mazda. In any event, the Mazda-Ford partnership had its benefits for both, but Mazda wanted out and Ford wanted out. It is quite obvious Mazda had better plans, and the proof is in their newer products. Ford seems to be doing ok, but still has several glitches and rather sub-par efficiency when compared to their EPA estimates.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @john96xlt
          Ford sold almost all their shares in Mazda, maybe 3% left or so of what they had before. Its not that Ford wanted out, they needed the money. And once Ford lost controlling interest, Mazda wanted to do things differently. They still work together on some things though, they still share the same chassis for the Ranger/B50 trucks. So they didn't get out of each others hair completely.
          Kevin O Francis
          • 1 Year Ago
          @john96xlt
          Also...developed the platform for the original Focus and had use of it before Mazda launched the 3. The platform of the current Focus is also a mildly updated version of the previous gen Mazda 3 as well.
      Myself
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mazda's chassis, Sky engine and hybrid system from Toyota??? The best car in the segment, by some margine, has got even better. I seriously hope Mazda brings this hybrid to Europe.
        behinddawindow
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        I wonder if they're using a CVT or the Skyactive AT? I wonder how it handles given the extra weight? Will it be a Zoom-Zoom hybrid? Can't wait!
          Greg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @behinddawindow
          It uses the Toyota tech for the transmission.
      anzigo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm pretty sure that should read 3.2 liters per 100 kilometers, not 1000.
      Houmpheng Phonsavath
      Build it asap.
      imag
      • 1 Year Ago
      The dual fuel capability is brilliant. CNG is really cheap, and this solves the availability/range anxiety problem that has kept it in the niche. Does it have two tanks? I assume it must...
      TIMMAH!
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The CNG Concept is actually a [b]duel-fuel[/b] vehicle,..." Really? CNG... Gasoline... FIGHT!!!
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why have it be a concept.. ditch the mild hybrid and build that thing. Give Toyota and Honda a run for their money... it can easily be done!
        Myself
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        That hybrid unit IS from Toyota, Mazda signed a deal with Toyota on using their hybrid system about 2 years ago. Just like the BMW did.
          Myself
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Myself
          At Chris O. Look harder, it's been made public weeks ago. Even the gear lever copies Toyota hybrid arrangements seen in Prius and Auris.
          Chris O.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Myself
          I know that Mazda signed the agreement, but I hadn't seen anything that indicated one way or another if Mazda was actually using any Toyota tech/equipment. Ford signed a similar agreement, but it was to keep them from getting sued for having independently developed tech that was under the same patent definition as some of the Toyota filings.
      Gorgenapper
      • 1 Year Ago
      M A Z D A S P E E D !
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL, chris m said thay it\'s not a good thing to offer 2 tanks in bi-fuel natural gas-gasoline cars and suvs.
      behinddawindow
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm nit-picking a bit but has anyone noticed that there are two indicators for Gear Selection on the instrument cluster? One where the tachometer gauge is (Looks like the Prius') and one on the corner in the speedometer.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is a good niche for Mazda to exploit. Too bad the CNG is still port-injected. I guess nobody has figured out how to do direct injection of CNG yet.
      cartarded
      • 1 Year Ago
      3.2L / 1000 km is ~ 740 mpg...
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