2012 Mazda3 to Debut New SKYACTIV Technology

Mazda SKYACTIV Engine

While most automakers are focusing their fuel-efficiency efforts on hybrid technology, Mazda is looking inward at its everyday gasoline-powered engines. Mazda announced last week that the 2012 Mazda3 will make its debut at the 2011 Canadian International AutoShow sporting their SKYACTIV Technology. This will be the first production vehicle to offer the new technology.

The SKYACTIV-G engine that will be available under the hood of the 2012 Mazda3 boasts the world’s highest compression ratio of any stock gasoline powered engine at a whopping 14.0:1 with no “abnormal combustion” (more commonly referred to as knocking). As part of the SKYACTIV package the 2012 Mazda3 will also sport a new and improved six speed automatic transmission, known as “SKYACTIV-Drive.” What does this mean to consumers? Mazda states that the improved technology “will realize higher torque at low and mid-range engine speeds resulting in better drivability with less fuel consumption in everyday driving.”

2012 Mazda3
2012 Mazda3 - Click for Full Size

In addition to the improved performance offered by SKYACTIV Technology, Mazda has also improved the look and feel of the car as well. They’ve taken the liberty of shedding 220 lbs. from the previous chassis and made it 30% more rigid which results in a better driving experience. Along with revised front and rear bumpers, the 2012 Mazda3 gets a redesigned front grill, front headlamps, and fog light bezels.

The SKYACTIV system is central to Mazda’s long term effort to improve fuel-efficiency as well as reduce emissions known as “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom.” Mazda is planning to implement the SKYACTIV technology in future diesel engines and use more advanced methods such as idle-stop, regenerative braking systems as well as hybrid technology to further increase fuel efficiency. The 2012 Mazda3 is the first vehicle in the Mazda lineup to receive the new SKYACTIV technologies, which they plan to roll out across the brand in coming years.

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