New Mazda SKY engines for 2011 models

The rebranded SKYACTIV engines comprise improved petrol and diesel engines, while new transmissions and platforms will complement the new designs.

It is all change at Mazda after it discarded the flowing Nagare design language seen on the new Mazda5 in favour of the hugely popular language seen on the Shinari concept car at the Paris Motor Show.

But it isn’t just about looks at Mazda, as the new more powerful – but more importantly more environmentally friendly – engine technology is rolled out.

The first of the new engines, the SKYACTIV-G petrol unit, will deliver fuel economy in line with hybrid models, says Mazda, thanks to direct-injection technology with the highest compression ratio ever used on a petrol engine.

In short, it results in a 15 per cent increase in torque with a similar size reduction in fuel use. The SKYACTIV-G is expected to be used in Mazda’s smaller cars such as the Mazda2 and Mazda3.

A diesel variant, the SKYACTIV-D, will employ similarly low compression levels to improve fuel consumption by 20 per cent compared to similar-size engines.

A turbocharger will boost power, while NOx emissions – an often overlooked tailpipe emission – will be reduced drastically.

Joining the two new engines will be SKYACTIV-Drive and SKYACTIV-MT transmissions. The automatic Drive transmission improves fuel economy by seven per cent after revisions to improve efficiency, while the manual option offers lower friction and subsequent fuel use.

Finally, future Mazda models will boast a new SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body structure. These will be lighter, stiffer and safer than current models through the use of materials such as high-tensile steels.

The drive quality of future Mazda vehicles will not be compromised because a new lighter suspension system to improve ride comfort.

The Japanese manufacturer has also promised the technology will be developed in future to include a range of hybrid powertrains and fuel-saving technology such as regenerative braking.

Mazda’s new SKYACTIV technologies will be introduced to its new models in 2011.