Taking the next step towards achieving its stated goal of a 30-percent improvement in global fuel economy by 2015, Madza confirmed that it will roll out the first of its "SKY" concept engine/transmission combos in the U.S. starting in 2011. Takashi Yamanouchi, representative director, president and CEO, Mazda Motor Corporation indicated that the gasoline-powered, direct-injected 2.0-liter being developed under the code name "SKY-G" will see its first application here in the U.S. before rolling out elsewhere.
First exhibited at last year's Tokyo Motor Show and destined to serve as the core engine in future Mazda vehicles, the SKY-G engine is expected to achieve a 15 percent gain in fuel efficiency over the existing conventional Mazda engine while delivering even more power. According to Yamanouchi, this ultra-efficient motivator will be matched with Mazda's equally new SKY-Drive automatic transmission which uses a unique torque converter design, improved lockup logic and less hydraulic fluid to realize an additional five percent gain in operating efficiency.
In 2012, Mazda plans to expand its SKY technology -- which also encompasses new approaches to reducing internal friction and improving thermal management -- to the diesel side of the equation with the launch of a super-clean SKY-D in one of its next-generation mid-size models. Yamanouchi says Mazda expects this 2.2-liter four to get up to 43 mpg in highway mode, 20-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over Mazda's current 2.2-liter diesel. Already capable of meeting stringent Tier 2 BIN 5 emissions regulations, the SKY-D also uses Mazda's proprietary catalyst technology which allows it to comply with strict North American emissions standards without having to resort to any kind of downstream urea after-treatment.