Mazda M Hybrid
The Mazda3 was the first vehicle to introduce Mazda’s Mazda M Hybrid system. Both the e-Skyactiv G, and the e-Skyactic X, petrol engine feature this 24v mild hybrid technology. A belt-driven integrated starter generator (ISG) converts the kinetic energy recovered during deceleration into energy and stores it in a 600KJ lithium-ion battery. A DC-DC converter alters the power to the appropriate voltage to supply the cars electrical system. In addition to improved economy, Mazda M Hybrid also helps drivability by substituting engine torque for motor torque when the car is starting, accelerating or coming to a stop. Even better, engine speed is adjusted by motor torque during upshifts to deliver a smoother gear change and subconsciously smoother clutch operation by the driver.
G-Vectoring Control Plus
Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system was updated, and the Mazda3 was the first vehicle to introduce G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). A world first, GVC varies engine torque to optimise the vertical load on each wheel to improve handling and comfort, GVC Plus takes this a step further by using the brakes to add direct yaw control. Delivering smooth transitions between yaw, roll and pitch, GVC Plus improves the cars ability to accurately track steering movements and crisply exit corners. GVC Plus also improves stability at speed and reduces driver fatigue by minimising the need for small steering adjustments on undulating surfaces.
Cylinder deactivation has been added to the evolved 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv G in the Mazda3. Delivering improved economy and enhanced efficiency, the system automatically switches between two-cylinder and four-cylinder operation depending on driving conditions, shutting down cylinders one and four in light load situations, such as when cruising at a constant speed. Intake volume, fuel injection and injection timing are all precisely controlled so that the cylinder deactivation isn’t perceptible to the driver.
The first car to feature Mazda’s latest Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, the Mazda3’s body delivers a winning combination of rigidity and weight saving. More than 60 per cent of the body is high-tensile steel. Of that, use of ultra-high-tensile steel has been increased from three per cent in the outgoing car to 30 per cent in the updated model. The use of ultra-high-tensile steel delivers increased strength in areas crucial for passive safety, while at the same time contributing to weight saving.
The latest 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv X engine produces 186ps at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 240Nm at 4,000rpm an increase of 6ps and 16Nm respectively compared with the previous Skyactiv-X engine. Even better, efficiency has also been improved, with CO2 emissions dropping by 6 to 11g/km – depending on model, transmission and trim level. Corresponding improvement in WLTP combined economy further increases the appeal of Mazda’s unique SPCCI petrol engine.