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The 70-mpg Mazda2 Is Nigh

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author photo by Autotrader October 2010

The Mazda2 subcompact will soon be capable of 70 miles per gallon – and it will hit that amazing figure without the help of an electric motor. So says Mazda, claiming that its array of new engine and transmission technologies will help make this hatchback the most fuel-efficient gasoline car on the road.

The Mazda2 made its debut in the United States just a few months ago. It is already rated at a respectable 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with its manual transmission, or 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with an available automatic. However, intent on wringing more mileage out of it – and the rest of its product line – Mazda has announced several new systems, collectively known as Skyactiv (the name is intended to suggest a marriage of sustainability and performance) to improve fuel consumption without the aid of hybrid technology.

Skyactiv-G is a gasoline engine that will go into the new 2. Using direct fuel injection and a high compression ratio, the engine receives a boost in both efficiency and torque, allowing for better acceleration and decreased consumption.

Skyactiv-D is a new diesel engine, which employs various technologies such as a two-stage turbocharger to attain high efficiency and low emissions. Mazda also points out that this powerplant complies with North America’s emission regulations, possibly suggesting its appearance in future U.S. models.

Skyactiv-Drive is a high-efficiency automatic transmission featuring “all the advantages of conventional automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions and dual-clutch transmissions,” according to Mazda. A lightweight manual transmission, designed to enhance efficiency, goes under the name of Skyactiv-MT.

Skyactiv-Body is a highly rigid and lightweight body design that complements Skyactiv-Chassis, a lightweight chassis which improves agility and stability.

“Mazda is renewing its entire powertrain and platform lineup at the same time as revolutionizing every manufacturing process from R&D through to mass production,” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s president and chief executive. “There have been no compromises in addressing conflicting goals.”

The company says its new 2 will launch in Japan (currently called the Demio over there) during the first half of 2011. There’s no word yet on when to expect the new technology or the updated car on this side of the Pacific.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The 70-mpg Mazda2 Is Nigh - Autotrader