Mazda is betting on its SkyActiv technology to win the fuel efficiency war against plug-in vehicles and so is equipping the 2012 Mazda Axela (known here as the Mazda3) with two parts of it fuel-saving tech as the compact rolls down the production lines over in Japan.
The Mazda Axela gets SkyActiv-G – a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. The direct-injected unit is tentatively rated at 40 miles per gallon on the highway and cranks out 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The Axela also gets SkyActiv-Drive, Mazda fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission that combines a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a dual clutch trans (DCT).
With production of the Axela underway and sales set for fall 2011, Mazda's next task is to start cranking out the Mazda3 for export. That, according to the automaker, is scheduled to begin sometime before March 2012.
- First model to adopt Mazda's highly efficient new SKYACTIV-G 2.0 gasoline engine and SKYACTIV-DRIVE transmission -
HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has commenced production of the facelifted Mazda Axela (known overseas as the Mazda3) equipped with breakthrough SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY at the Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan. The facelifted Axela is Mazda's first model to combine the newly developed 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G 2.0 direct injection gasoline engine with the SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission. SKYACTIV-DRIVE reduces slippage to deliver a direct shift feel similar to a manual transmission. Sales of the facelifted Mazda Axela – the second model equipped with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY following the facelifted Mazda Demio (known overseas as the Mazda2) – will begin in the Japanese market in fall 2011.
The facelifted Mazda Axela with SKYACTIV-G 2.0 and SKYACTIV-DRIVE delivers significantly improved driving performance and fuel economy. In the Japanese market, the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 Axela also features "intelligent-Drive Master" (i-DM), a new technology that is proving popular on the recently released facelifted Mazda Demio. The newly-developed i-DM provides information and driving tips designed to promote a smooth and efficient driving style, thereby supporting enjoyable driving, a more comfortable ride for passengers, and improved fuel economy.
The Mazda Axela is a core model in Mazda's lineup and accounts for a third of the company's global sales. It is also the fastest-selling model in Mazda's current lineup of passenger vehicles, with a cumulative production volume of over three million units*. By equipping the Axela with SKYACTIV-G 2.0 and SKYACTIV-DRIVE, Mazda will further accelerate the introduction of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.