Mazda3 Skyactiv-Hybrid and CNG Concept Shown in Japan
25 November 2013 - Autoblog
Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called "Axela" in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.
Mazda thinks that CNG-powered vehicles are due for an uptick in demand, and the company believes this new powertrain will add valuable breadth to the Mazda3 range. The CNG Concept is actually a duel-fuel vehicle, capable of running on either natural gas or gasoline. In fact, we're told that the high compression ratio (14:1) inherent in Skyactiv-technology gasoline engines makes conversion to CNG particularly simple.
Perhaps more interesting is the unveiling of Mazda's first-ever hybrid powertrain, aptly named Skyactiv-Hybrid. The new system, which is only slated for the Japanese market at this point, connects an electric motor to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, using it to assist at low engine speeds and under low-load conditions. The electric motor is supplied by a nickel-metal hydride battery of unstated capacity.
The end result of the Skyactiv-Hybrid in the Mazda3 is fuel consumption estimated at 3.2 liters per 1,000 kilometers on the lenient Japanese cycle, or something like 74 miles per gallon, and total system output of around 134 horsepower (136 PS).