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Mazda Simplifies, as Ford Complicates

Mazda shows a less expensive approach to fuel efficiency.

by on Oct.21, 2009

Mazda Kiyora Tokyo 2009

Kiyora returns a claimed 75 mpg, without any assistance from an electric motor.

Mazda showed its next generation of gasoline and diesel powertrains today at the Tokyo Motor Show, and they are notable for a simple approach to boosting fuel economy and output by a claimed 30% between now and 2015.

It packages some of the technologies in the Kiyora, “a next-generation concept car that demonstrates the range of Mazda’s upcoming eco-technologies.”

Kiyora combines a 1.3-liter Sky-G engine, the Sky-Drive transmission, and the first two stages of Mazda’s electric device program — i-stop and regenerative braking — as well as weight reduction and aerodynamic advancements. All of which combine to achieve extremely high fuel economy of 32 kilometers per liter, about 75 mpg, without any assistance from an electric motor.

Mazda appears to be favoring basic work on combustion efficiency, lightweight materials, and low friction engines and transmissions, while other companies, including now minority shareholder Ford, are pursuing more expensive forced induction designs with one or more turbochargers or expensive plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles with $10,000 (or more) battery packs. The Ford approach, in theory, will allow it to continue to sell a mix of vehicles that are larger and heavier than Mazda’s, which it of course it already does. The question is where the bulk of the customers will be in the future?

We're Efficient!

We're Efficient!

“Mazda will first work to enhance our base technologies — engines, transmissions, weight reduction and aerodynamics — in order to optimize basic vehicle performance,” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Representative Director, President and CEO. “We feel that by doing this, we will be able to offer not just a small number of customers, but all our customers, driving pleasure as well as eco-friendliness and reassuring safety levels.”