High-tech Mazda future revealed

Improving efficiency by 40 per cent in your car would save huge amounts on fuel costs, but it seems like a huge leap for car technology.

However, this is exactly what Mazda is planning to do when new petrol and diesel SkyActiv engines are unveiled for the Mazda2 and Mazda3 models this year.

And the manufacturer has stressed it is aiming to improve efficiency by 50 per cent with future upgrades to the technology.

Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda Europe, said: “Customers expect hybrids and cars with eco badges to have good fuel economy. Our challenge is to get people to believe they can have that fuel economy and still have fun-to-drive cars."

Mazda, the company which coined the ‘Zoom Zoom’ tagline to describe its driving dynamics, has experience with fun-to-drive cars.

These include the world’s best-selling two-seat sportscar, the Mazda MX-5 and the new SkyActiv technology borrows one very important principle from the roadster.

Kiyoshi Fujiwara, head of product planning, said:”The MX-5 is a simple car so we have taken a lot of simple steps and then put them all together,” he said. “Simple is best because it is reliable and affordable.”

This philosophy will be carried forward for SkyActiv models, which start with the introduction of the SkyActiv 1.3-litre engine to the Mazda2 range, boosting efficiency to 85mpg and lowering CO2 emissions below 120g/km.

The Mazda3 will also receive the engines before the Mazda CX-5 SUV crossover arrives. The smallest SUV in the Mazda range, it will be designed entirely using SkyActiv principles covering the chassis, materials used, engines and transmission to improve efficiency.

Mazda promises the new engines will ‘looking great and being great to drive’, before adding: "And by the way they’re tremendously fuel efficient!"