MAZDA3 SP20 SKYACTIV
Mazda has come out guns blazing at today's Australian International Motor Show opening, offering a preview of the upcoming Mazda3 SP20 SkyActiv, along with its delectable Shinari four-door coupe and Minagi compact SUV concepts.
While the Shinari exists only as a preview of the company's new 'Kodo' design language, the Minagi represents a first glimpse at Kodo's transition into production form: Mazda has confirmed the Minagi will be transformed into the new CX-5 compact SUV in 2012.
Mazda3 SP20 SkyActiv
Following its international unveiling earlier this year, Mazda Australia has today shown off its new Mazda3 SP20 SkyActiv, featuring the company's new 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine.
The SkyActiv-G engine utilises multi-hole injectors and a higher compression ratio of 12.0:1. Power has increased from 108kW to 113kW at 6000rpm and torque has climbed from 182Nm to 194Nm at 4100rpm.
In Australia, the new engine will be paired with the SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. Local fuel consumption figures have not been confirmed, but US-market figures show 8.4 l/100km in the city and 5.8 l/100km in highway driving.
In five-speed auto form, the Mazda3's current MZR 2.0 litre petrol engine returns 11.3 and 6.3 l/100km respectively.
The new Mazda3 SP20 SkyActiv will also be the first Mazda model in Australia to feature i-stop, the company’s new idling stop system.
The SkyActiv Mazda3 models also gain some aerodynamic improvements that include larger underbody covers and an optimised front bumper design.
Styling updates for the 2012 Mazda3 also include a redesigned front grille, foglight bezels and headlights.
The new Mazda3 range will be available in Mazda showrooms later this year. Pricing and details will be confirmed closer to launch.
In the Shinari, the first Mazda concept developed under the company's new direction, the Kodo style introduces slimmer headlights and tail-lights than most of the current 'Nagare'-inspired Mazda range.
It also features a new development of Mazda's signature 'smile' grille, along with sharper character lines along the body and flanks.
Mazda design boss Ikuo Maeda says the ultimate goal of the Kodo language is to convey energetic motion, evoking "emotion and affection" in the viewer.
For showgoers at this year's AIMS in Melbourne, the Shinari, along with the Minagi compact SUV concept, represents a first look at what lies ahead for future Mazda models.
The first of Mazda's new models to feature the new 'Kodo' design language, the CX-5 will also utilise the the company's new Skyactiv petrol and diesel engines, transmissions and construction methods.
The CX-5 will come to the Mazda line-up as the smallest of its three SUVs, joining the CX-7 and the larger CX-9 - both of which will likely benefit from Kodo-inspired updates in the near future.
In concept form, the Minagi is powered by Mazda's new SkyActiv technologies, including a SkyActiv engine (Mazda has not specified SkyActiv-G petrol or SkyActiv-D diesel), along with the SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission.
When it debuts at Frankfurt in September, the CX-5 will launch with Mazda's new SkyActiv-D diesel engine.
Producing 136kW and 420Nm of torque, the twin-turbo 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D diesel engine is paired with a new SkyActiv six-speed automatic transmission and has been engineered to pass Euro 6 emissions regulations.
Little else is known about the all-new CX-5 at this stage, although it is likely that a version of the company's new 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine - already destined for service in the 2012 Mazda3 update - will also appear in the compact SUV.
Scheduled for a 2012 launch, the CX-5 will face off against the Nissan Dualis, Subaru Forester, Toyota's RAV4 and the Volkswagen Tiguan - all selling over 1000 units each in May (June figures not yet released).