The 2011 New York Auto Show has been in full swing since last week with Press Day happening prior to the Friday show opener. So far it has proven to be a show with many announcements and a lot to see. We have already reported announcements from Hyundai, Mercedes, Mitsubishi and Scion already during the show; that isn’t all though as other manufacturers have things they want consumers to know—like Mazda. This year Mazda is showing the 2012 Mazda3 with new fuel efficiency engine technology and they have an alternative fuel announcement.
We have been hearing about SkyActiv for a little while now, but now people can see and hear about it in the Big Apple. SkyActiv is new powertrain technology that basically means direct injection; think of it like Ford’s EcoBoost™. For the 2012 Mazda3 SkyActiv means a 2.0-liter direct injection four-cylinder engine that produces 155 hp. More importantly for those looking for good gas mileage, it also means that the Mazda3 will join the ranks of vehicles achieving 40-mpg on the highway—at least it will when you opt for the six-speed automatic. If you need a manual for that Zoom-Zoom feeling, then most likely you want be disappointed by an estimated 39-mpg on the highway.
“SkyActiv means all engines, transmissions, platforms, suspensions and braking are geared towards fuel efficiency,” said Jim O'Sullivan, Mazda North America CEO. “This will help B-cars achieve the fuel economy of C-cars, gas engines that get the fuel economy of diesels, and diesels get the fuel economy of hybrids.”
That brings us to the diesel part of the story. Yes, Mazda also announced that they intended to bring a diesel variant of the Mazda3 to the U.S. market in 2014. Given O’Sullivan’s comparison above, we think that the diesel should bring highway mpg somewhere near 50 mpg.