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Mike Stevens | Dec 10, 2010

Announced for the UK and Japanese markets last year, Mazda Australia has begun testing the brand's i-stop stop-start technology ahead of its debut with the updated Mazda3 (sold in Japan as the Axela) in 2011.

Rapidly becoming a common fuel-saving addition to many new cars, stop-start systems work by shutting off the engine when the vehicle is at a standstill - saving the engine from consuming fuel when the vehicle is not actively in use.

Mazda says its i-stop system has been designed for use with direct-injection engines and uses combustion energy to restart the engine in just 0.35 seconds.

“With much of Australian driving taking place in suburban environments, i-stop will bring significant real-world fuel savings to Australian Mazda customers from next year," Mazda Australia's Alastair Doak said.

"i-stop is just one of the many improvements that the new SKYACTIV technologies will offer customers as Mazda strives to improve global average fuel economy by 30 percent by 2015.”

The i-stop system is expected to debut with the local launch of Mazda's new Skyativ-G petrol engine.

Mazda has yet to confirm specific details for its Skyactiv-G engined Mazda3 and Mazda2, although Japanese-market models are offered with 1.3 and 1.5 litre versions of the engine, listing fuel consumption figures of around 3.3 l/100km.

Beyond the introduction of its i-stop system and Skyactiv engines, Mazda claims its Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission will also improve fuel economy by approximately five percent.

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