Mazda says turbocharging could be a part of its future engine strategy but will first target optimum fuel efficiency with normal aspiration.
The Japanese car maker is in the process of rolling out its new suite of efficiency-focus technologies it has dubbed ‘SkyActiv’, starting partially with the Mazda3 SP20 that went on sale in Australia recently and going deeper with the new CX-5 compact SUV in 2012.
The engines confirmed so far under the banner include only a diesel engine with turbocharging – a 2.2-litre ‘Sky-D’ engine that will feature in vehicles such as the CX-5 and next-generation Mazda6 medium car previewed by the Takeri concept at this week’s 2011 Tokyo motor show.
Three petrol engines comprise a 1.3-litre unit that has debuted in Japan in the Mazda2, the 2.0-litre in the Mazda3 SP20, with a 1.5-litre version also available.
Mazda’s senior managing executive officer for research and development, Hirotaki Kanazawa, says the company hasn’t rule out turbocharging for those or other future petrol SkyActiv engines.
“We haven’t decided we’re not going to do turbocharging,” says Kanazawa-san. “But first of all we want to achieve combustion efficiency with natural aspiration.
“There is a trend in Europe for downsizing [engines] but we think there is an appropriate size for an engine to achieve maximum efficiency. So Mazda wants the best cylinder [count] for I.C.E [internal combustion engine.
“Of course based on them [SkyActiv] petrol engines we woud add turbocharging to add power.
“A turbocharger is really for performance and power,” he adds.
Kanazawa confirmed that the next-generation Mazda6, the company’s rival for the likes of the Subaru Liberty and Toyota Camry, would feature all the new efficiency technologies that have debuted on the Takeri concept.
This includes Mazda’s new i-Eloop regenerative braking system, which the company claims is an industry first.
The system, which uses capacitors rather than batteries to capture energy lost during braking, will reduce fuel consumption by about 10 per cent in all types of driving not just stop-start traffic, Kanazawa-san says.
Mazda has already introduced an engine stop-start system called iStop.
Mazda will also follow part-time partner Ford by making the new Mazda6 in one body style only rather than two as with the current model, which is also sold in a wider body in the United States.
The next Mazda6 will also grow in size – to “provide more comfort for rear-seat passengers” the company says, though dimensions will not be quite as large as the Takeri concept car that previews it.