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What is SKYACTIV?

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Since the redesign of several Mazda vehicles such as the 2014 Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 SUV, buyers have been hearing the words “SKYACTIV” more and more. Yet, what exactly is SKYACTIV?

In simple terms, SKYACTIV is a series of technologies, improvements and reiterations, ranging from engines, to transmissions, to the chassis of the automaker’s vehicles. Mazda engineers decided to improve or revamp the aforementioned components to help increase the fuel efficiency of their models without having to compromise the performance.

SKYACTIV technology has been integrated in Mazda vehicles since 2012, though the term seems to be progressively more popular. That is probably because there are now three model lineups that only offer SKYACTIV engines and tech: the Mazda3, Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5.

Engines

The SKYACTIV-G 2.0L and 2.5L gasoline engines are at the heart of automaker’s technology. SKYACTIV is said to offer a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, while producing 10 to 15 percent more low or mid-range torque, as described by the manufacturer.

So how can Mazda generate such improvements out of a seemingly run-of-the-mill engines? It all starts with improvement efficiency. Weight and friction are two of the most dangerous enemies of fuel economy, and Mazda reduced both when designing its new engines.

Internal friction has been reduced which helps the engine run more efficiently and thus save on fuel. Moreover, the engines’ very high compression ratio help it achieve higher performance for the same level of fuel, which everyone should enjoy. Finally, a less restrictive exhaust prevent engine knock that could be caused by the higher compression ratio while at the same time allowing for better air flow, less constriction, and improved economy and performance.

Transmissions

The SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission has been designed in such a way that it is said to improve fuel efficiency by 4 to 7 percent. Mazda has also mentioned that it combines the best features of all transmission types into one.

In other words, you get the efficiency of a continuously variable transmission with the performance of a dual-clutch setup. As a result, and with the company’s “advanced control module,” the SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed Sport mode automatic transmission is said to shift smoothly and quickly, while the vehicle’s responsiveness is more precise.

The second transmission is a manual that is known as the SKYACTIV-MT, and the size has been reduced to help with the overall fuel efficiency aspect of the car. The internal shift throw is also shorter on the SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission, meant to give off a more direct and effortless feel when shifting gears.

Chassis

The last two aspects of Mazda’s technology are grouped into one term, known as the SKYACTIV chassis. It includes the SKYACTIV body that is lighter by 8 percent, while being 30 percent more rigid than before. The latter helps improve handling.

The SKYACTIV chassis is designed to offer “greater agility at low speeds, and more stability at higher speeds”.

Again, the idea behind the chassis is to reduce weight and therefore improve both performance and efficiency. Moreover, the added rigidity of the chassis improves overall safety as the vehicle becomes much more capable of absorbing impacts.

Mazda’s SKYACTIV can be found on several of its vehicles, and more notably the all-new and fully redesigned 2014 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback models. For more information, contact us today.


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