Mazda's new range of ultra-efficient and ultra-green SkyActiv models has put its foot into the market this week with the launch of the Mazda2 SkyActiv-G in the company's home market.
The news follows the unveiling in April of the first engine in the SkyActiv line-up; the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine.
While the 2.0 litre engine is destined for service in the Mazda3, the Japanese-market Mazda2 SkyActiv-G will be powered by the smallest engine in the range: a 1.3 litre petrol engine, producing 62kW and 112Nm of torque.
Like the 2.0 litre engine, the new 1.3 litre SkyActiv-G engine uses a higher compression ratio (12.0:1 for the 2.0, 14.0:1 for the 1.3), with specially-designed piston cavities that help to avoid the knocking normally caused by high temperatures and compression.
Paired with a continously-variable automatic transmission, fuel consumption for the small petrol engine is listed at a claimed 3.3 l/100km.
An interesting addition to the Japanese-market Mazda2 is a new system dubbed i-DM, which monitors the vehicle's speed, along with the movement of the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal to give the driver a score on their skills.
“The score from each trip is used to calculate a driving skill level, from Stage 1 to Stage 3. By progressing through the stages, drivers can feel that their driving skills are improving,” Mazda said.
Other upgrades for the home-market Mazda2 include improved chassis rigidity, retuned dampers and new seats.
An Australian debut for Mazda's SkyActiv technology is expected to begin with the Mazda3 SkyActiv-G, with a local launch planned for late in 2011.
As for the Mazda2, the company's Australian arm will likely hold off until a 1.5 litre version of the SkyActiv engine is available. In Australia, the small hatch is currently offered with only a 76kW, 6.4 l/100km 1.5 litre petrol engine.