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MAZDA AT THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW 2006

Summary Premiering at Geneva 2006

Mar 1, 2006

Mazda Motor Corporation comes to this year's Geneva Motor Show with two global premieres, along with an exciting sports coupe concept and a hydrogen hybrid people-carrier concept. Taking centre stage is the global introduction of the Mazda3 facelift and its new flagship, Mazda3 MPS, both of which go into production and will see market launch in Europe this year. Also on stage is the exciting Mazda Kabura compact sports coupe and the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept, both of which indicate possible directions the company could take in the future.

Mazda3 MPS - A Double Dose of Zoom-Zoom

The all-new Mazda3 MPS takes its place as the flagship of the Mazda3 facelift line up and is the second MPS series sports model after the Mazda6 MPS, launched just two months ago in Europe . The Mazda3 MPS has a distinctly MPS design that combines a refined, yet strong and sporty road presence that is carried over into the interior with look and feel that evolves Mazda craftsmanship and quality even further. Mazda3 MPS is outfitted with Mazda's 2.3-litre DISI* Turbo petrol engine in a front engine, front-wheel drive (FWD) layout that produces more than 184kW/250PS at 5,500 rpm** and maximum torque of 380 Nm at 3,000 rpm**. This not only makes Mazda3 MPS one of the most powerful and responsive compact sports models with FWD, it combines this with a stiffer body shell and a suspension with 60 percent improvement in roll stiffness versus the Mazda3 facelift standard model for superior Zoom-Zoom handling attributes. Mazda's petrol direct injection technology not only makes the new Mazda3 MPS powerful, it is also Euro Stage IV compliant with fuel consumption levels that are particularly good for a car with this kind of performance.

Mazda3 Facelift - Enhanced Design, Quality, Comfort and Performance

Since its launch in 2003, Mazda3 has become Mazda's best-selling vehicle and the company has even had to increase production to meet global demand. To further enhance its global popularity, Mazda has refreshed its compact star's line-up in a 2006 version with enhanced design and comfort, optimized performance and even higher levels of interior quality feel. New exterior enhancements to both the modern and elegant sedan and the sporty hatchback further support a standard Mazda3 line up with two distinct models for customers to choose from. The Mazda3 facelift's petrol engine line up features three MZR aggregates - a 2.0-litre, a 1.6-litre, and a base 1.4-litre (depending on market offer) - all of them further optimized so the model can continue to be one of the better driving cars in its segment and adds a new six-speed transmission for the top-end petrol. The Mazda3 facelift retains the two derivatives of the MZ-CD 1.6-litre common-rail turbo diesel engine for European customers, both offering high torque and power with low diesel fuel consumption. Added to this are enhancements to the body shell along with improved damper performance and improved aerodynamics for even better handling, stability and driving fun. Overall comfort has also been improved with more insulation against road noise, revised tyres and reduced suspension vibration. Features newly added to the line up, like available advanced keyless entry and a 20 gigabyte hard disc drive audio system (depending on market offer), make the Mazda3 facelift even easier to use and enjoy on a daily basis.

Mazda Kabura Design Concept - Redefining the Sports Coupe

Mazda Motor Corporation is using Geneva 2006 to display its design expertise with the two concept cars, including the new Mazda Kabura design concept, first shown at the Detroit Motor Show two months ago where it won the Aesthetics and Innovation Award for design. Kabura was created by Mazda's design centre in Irvine , California and indicates a possible future direction Mazda could take with an exciting compact sports coupe. Designed to meet the demands of young car buyers, it pushes the envelope for both exterior design and interior functionality, and features an innovated 3+1 seating system for high levels of comfort and convenience. The interior is accessed via a unique three door system with an additional third door on the passenger side that slides neatly into a space in the rear quarter panel, giving superior access to the rear seat compared to other compact coupes. The roof of the Mazda Kabura design compact is also new and innovative. The windshield and forward section of the roof are made of a single piece of glass. The overhead sections of the glass can be adjusted on the inside to let more or less sunlight into the interior. Behind this is a glass rear hatch, whose upper section contains a photovoltaic solar cell that helps control cabin temperatures and recharges the battery, and which pivots open at the bottom to create a roof spoiler. The large glass panel below this is a unique glass hatch door that opens in one piece from right to left for easy access to Kabura's boot. Using the same front engine, rear-wheel drive system as the MX-5 and the RX-8, coupled to a spirited 2.0-litre version of Mazda's MZR DOHC 16-valve engine, the Mazda Kabura indicate a possible future direction Mazda could take in an exhilarating compact sports coupe.

Mazda Sassou - Mazda Alive

Mazda is also displaying the Mazda Sassou design concept, which was created by Mazda's European design centre in Frankfurt , Germany . Originally shown at last year's IAA, it is a sleek, three-door hatchback that indicates where Mazda might go with a future B-segment vehicle. Its unique exterior design language is coupled to innovative surface treatment of the front and rear light graphics that make them seem hidden when the car is at rest. These spring to life when the car is unlocked using indirect illumination in a way that lends the concept a unique personality. Mazda Sassou also employs an innovative USB stick key, which not only functions as a normal central locking key, but is used to activate all interior systems when inserted in a slot in the middle console in the interior. This USB stick key could be programmed with Mazda Sassou software, like a navigation system, which would allow owners to download destinations and music on their computer at home, and upload them onto Sassou's hard disc drive system the next day. The concept also employs a unique rear seating system using compressed air that allows owners to determine if they want one or two seats in the rear.

Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid - Zoom-Zoom Performance with Low Emissions

Rounding out Mazda's pallet of new production models and design concepts at Geneva is the eco-friendly Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid. This new concept is equipped with a dual-fuel rotary hydrogen/petrol engine from the production-ready Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle and an electric motor that facilitates idle-stop for low emissions, and supplements the engine's torque for enhanced responsiveness. Despite having three different power sources, the concept's powerplant is compact enough for front engine placement, which ensures no loss of the interior comfort the Mazda5 is known for. And the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid is not merely a flight of fancy. Its rotary engine comes from a vehicle, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE, that is set to go into production for fleet leasing this spring in Japan . This engine is based on the RENESIS rotary petrol engine, which requires minor engine changes to burn hydrogen, making it easy and cost-efficient to produce. Placed in a front-wheel drive layout for the first time makes the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid all the more attractive as a possible alternative-fuel vehicle for the future.

* DISI: Direct Injection Spark Ignition


** Mazda target subject to change upon homologation

 

 


Mazda3 MPS/MAZDASPEED3
A Double Dose of Zoom-Zoom

 

*The following summarizes information on products to be exhibited at the 2006 Geneva International Motor Show. Specifications and equipment are subject to change.

 

Geneva 2006 sees the global premiere of the flagship of the Mazda3 range, the all-new Mazda3 MPS, which gives sports-minded customers the chance for a double dose of Zoom-Zoom driving fun (the car is called Mazdaspeed3 in North America and Mazdaspeed Axela in Japan). With its compact, lightweight body and maximum power of more than 184kW/250PS generated by an MZR 2.3L DISI* Turbo engine, Mazda3 MPS is one of the highest performance sports compact with front-wheel drive (FWD) on the road today.

 

Developed under the key concept of "a dynamic sporty compact that exceeds your expectations," Mazda3 debuted in summer 2003 and has gone on to enjoy enormous popularity among customers worldwide. Selected as the 2004 European Car of the Year runner up and winner of ca. 60 prestigious awards from countries around the world, Mazda3 is clearly recognized as one of the leading cars in the compact segment. This remarkable level of recognition boosted sales in Europe, North America and Australia. Since launch, it has become Mazda's best-selling model globally with over 750,000 units produced in just 30 months and has sustained Mazda's growth during this period.

 

"Mazda3 MPS, which is making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, dramatically reinforces the acclaimed dynamics of the original Mazda3 and delivers maximum driving pleasure through outstanding performance and a superior chassis," said Tatsuo Maeda, Programme Manager for development of the Mazda3 series. "To create this new benchmark, we looked to embody the following three requirements:

 

As a result, the flagship of the Mazda3 range features a stylishly sophisticated look combined with performance levels that make it one of the fastest sports compacts with a FWD layout. Mazda3 MPS offers truly exhilarating acceleration from a standing start, superior passing acceleration in the practical speed range and one of the highest top speeds in its class.

 

Mazda3 MPS is the second vehicle in the Mazda Performance Series, following the Mazda6 MPS launched in Europe two months ago. This high performance sedan is equipped with the same MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine as the Mazda3 MPS, and incorporates a 4WD system and has a GT character with the accent on a feeling of stability. In contrast, the Mazda3 MPS uses a FWD layout to maximize the inherent agile handling characteristics of its lightweight and compact body. In addition, the FWD configuration permitted more affordable pricing, allowing Mazda the opportunity of offering Zoom Zoom to a wider audience in an extremely fun to drive package.

 

MPS Design DNA -- the Harmony of Refinement and Sensuality
Mazda3 MPS styling pursues a look of strength and solidity in a design that conveys the car's unmatched dynamic performance at a glance. Its form is characterized by boldly flared front fenders, and effective use of strong edges on the bonnet and other elements. These combine with the functional forms of the bumpers, spoilers and other parts developed for outstanding aerodynamic performance, to make a radical Zoom Zoom statement in an FWD sports compact. Overall, Mazda3 MPS's design is sporty and strong, befitting a high-performance model, without exaggerated styling cues. Instead, the focus is on creating a refined presence, which owners can take pride in. This approach is an important facet of MPS design DNA, also adopted for the Mazda6 MPS.

 

Exterior Design
The integrated form of the 5-door hatchback of the base model was the starting point for the individualistic statement Mazda3 MPS makes about the Zoom-Zoom spirit. Although it has the athletic form of a high-performance model, it also realizes a refined, supple look calculated to appeal to the aesthetic sensibility of the more mature driver. Its front fenders are 20 mm wider than on the base model to provide clearance for the large tyres and to evoke a well planted stance. And to forge a uniform identity for the MPS series, two design elements are shared with the Mazda6 MPS: strong press lines flowing back along the bonnet from the upper part of the five point grille used as the air intake for the intercooler, and the aerodynamically shaped front bumper and large lower grille serving as the air intake for the radiator. Additionally, the "floating image" angular fog lamps used here for the first time communicate the vehicle's unique personality. An athletic yet elegant side view is created by aerodynamic side skirts and 18 inch, 10-spoke aluminium alloy wheels.

 

The rear view is characterized by the design of the rear bumper, which suggests stable road hold, the tailpipe with a large diameter (95 mm) and the roof spoiler with integrated high mounted LED brake lights. These items add up to a tautly defined rear design that is instantly recognizable as the Mazda3 MPS to other drivers who see it pass.

 

Interior Design
A high quality black sets the tone of the interior, accented by red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and the six speed manual transmission shift knob to create a sporty yet refined ambience -- the hallmark of a Mazda MPS model. The instrument panel includes a matte black decorative insert panel finished with a hairline treatment to underscore the vehicle's aggressively modern personality. A leather wrapped shift knob, aluminium pedals and stainless steel scuff plates further contribute to the sporty, high quality ambience that distinguishes MPS models, while semi bucket front seats provide firm support to match the uniquely sporty performance of the Mazda3 MPS. Additionally, the instrument panel houses a blackout type speedometer (scaled to 280 km/h) in the centre position and the front seats bear the MPS logo on the seatbacks, a casual reminder that this is the highest performance model in the Mazda3 line up.

 

Euro Stage IV Emissions Combined with Formidable Power and Agile Handling Mazda3 MPS is equipped with a 2.3 litre petrol direct injection turbo engine (MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo) that is Euro Stage IV compliant while generating formidable maximum power of more than 184kW/250PS at 5,500 rpm** and maximum torque of 380 Nm at 3,000 rpm**. Installed in a lightweight and compact body, the engine propels Mazda3 MPS to a top speed of 250 km/h***, and from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds****. These figures make the Mazda3 MPS one of the most powerful sports compacts with a FWD layout.

 

To handle this level of performance, torque characteristics are carefully controlled to improve driveability. The body, suspension and brakes are specially tuned as part of the vehicle's all round optimization. The result is outstanding performance and agile handling that deliver high levels of driving pleasure. Since this kind of driving can only normally be experienced in a pure sports car, Mazda3 MPS far exceeds driver expectations.

 

MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo Engine
In addition to delivering a high performance Zoom Zoom driving experience, the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine also exhibits good environmental compatibility with low fuel consumption and Euro Stage IV emissions. This powerplant is a direct injection turbocharged unit developed by Mazda to achieve three aspects of performance that are difficult to realize with conventional manifold injection engines: good fuel economy and low exhaust gas emissions, powerful acceleration thanks to the turbocharger, and a full and flat torque curve throughout the rev range for exceptional engine response.

 

Mazda's MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo injects fuel into the cylinders at pressures as high as 11.5 MPa, which cools the combustion chambers (internal cooling effect) through latent heat of vaporization, thereby improving the charging efficiency. This can increase torque by up to 10 percent at around 3,000 rpm compared to a conventional manifold injection type turbo engine, making powerful, easy to control torque available across a wide range of engine speeds. This high power and easy to use flat torque curve is attained by the use of a fixed geometry turbocharger.

 

The internal cooling effect within the combustion chamber increases the cylinder charge volume under initial acceleration and hence the exhaust-gas flow, causing a linear increase in rotation speed of the turbocharger's compressor wheel. As a result, the turbocharger provides boost effect soon after the accelerator is pressed -- at around 2,500 rpm -- assuring excellent response at low to mid-engine speeds.

 

High-pressure direct injection of fuel into the cylinder also results in an optimized air fuel mixture forming in the vicinity of the spark plug, reducing the risk of misfire. This allows earlier ignition, making it easy to raise the temperature of the exhaust gas. Moreover, use of a lightweight, fixed geometry turbocharger dramatically reduces the thermal capacity of the exhaust system, minimizing the loss in temperature of exhaust gas. As a result, the catalytic converter reaches its activation temperature faster after the engine is started. These advantages enable Mazda3 MPS to meet Euro Stage IV emissions regulations.

 

Because the internal cooling effect within the combustion chamber reduces knocking tendencies and boosts fuel economy without sacrificing low end torque, the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine has a relatively high compression ratio for a turbo engine of 9.5:1 which contributes to improved fuel economy.

 

The form and materials used for the respective engine components are optimized to bear the added load and heat of the increased output. The cylinder block and cylinder head are optimally shaped to increase their strength. In addition, cross drilling between the block liners and between the valve bridges on the cylinder head improves cooling performance. All moving parts have been made stronger and more rigid. The crankshaft is made of steel, and the diameter of the crank pins is increased. Connecting rods are also made of steel, and the shape of the rods is optimized. Full floating pistons are used with increased-diameter pins. The shape of the radiator fan blades has also been optimized, the capacity of the electric fan motor increased and a flap function added to the fan shroud controls the adequate airflow to the radiator. These measures greatly improve the radiator's cooling performance at all engine speeds.

 

For Mazda3 MPS, the development team fine tuned both the engine and exhaust system to produce a sporty sound that enhances driving pleasure. Tuning of the exhaust system focused on sounds in the low frequency range, while tuning of engine sound focused on the mid frequency range produced at high engine speeds to deliver an enjoyably sporty sound. A powerful exhaust note is hit the moment the engine is started, and a pleasurable sound sustained in sync with accelerator pedal input as the car gains speed.

 

High-level Torque Management
A wide range of optimizations give this high power, high torque FWD vehicle greater ease of use with more comfortable driveability and handling. Intake volume and boost pressure control suppress sudden torque peaks, assuring smooth, linear torque delivery. Additionally, torque characteristics from first through fourth gears are optimized to deliver appropriate drive power from take off. Torque control is also linked to the steering angle, and the stiffness of the left and right drive shafts is balanced with the angles optimized to control torque steer. A newly-developed limited slip differential is also adopted to provide ample torque to the inner wheel during hard cornering for smooth, predictable driving in the curve.

 

Six Speed Manual Transmission
The new Mazda3 MPS employs the six speed manual transmission introduced with the Mazda6 MPS that provides the driver with the pleasure of having full control over the vehicle's high power, while contributing to a quiet ride and better fuel economy. A compact three shaft design made it possible to keep the overall length the same as for the five speed manual transmission used in the base model. In addition, Mazda3 MPS's six-speed transmission uses wide gear ratios to fully exploit the wide torque band of the direct injection turbocharged engine. The transmission's high-ratio sixth gear contributes to a quieter ride and improves fuel economy during high-speed cruising. Triple cone synchronizers for first through third gears and a double cone synchronizer for fourth gear assure ample sync capacity to enable a short, clean action shift stroke and comfortable shift feel.

 

High Body Rigidity and Specially Tuned Chassis
Like the Mazda3 facelift, the new Mazda3 MPS features a body with greater rigidity than the original model. The MPS version is based on the Mazda3 5 door hatchback, with local reinforcements added to realize a body sufficiently stiff and robust to stand up to the extra demands of sporty driving. Suspension and brakes have also been specially tuned for the MPS. These improvements assure a body and chassis capable of easily handling the extremely high power delivered by the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine.

 

Body rigidity has been increased by several features, including a reinforced front cowl member that is joined directly to a plate in the top section of the front damper mount, assuring the same rigidity as a car fitted with strut tower bars. This prevents deformation of the front suspension towers and maintains correct suspension geometry. In the lower body, a large closed section member is employed to reinforce the floor tunnel which improves the torsional rigidity of whole body. At the rear, the gusset introduced at the bottom end of the rear suspension towers restrains the tendency of the towers to displace inwards which maintains the correct suspension geometry in the rear.

 

Specially Tuned Suspension gives 60 Percent Improvement in Roll Stiffness
Special suspension tuning was conducted to support the high power output of Mazda3 MPS's engine. Both the MacPherson strut front suspension and multi link rear suspension have higher coil spring rates and larger diameter stabilizer bars than the Mazda3 facelift. Dampers also have a higher damping force on the MPS. Damping force on both jounce and rebound is approximately 6 times better at low piston speed, and about 1.3 times better at moderate piston speed. Combined with the reinforced coil springs and stabilizer bars, this produces 60 percent more roll stiffness than the Mazda3 facelift.

 

Aerodynamics Engineered for Speeds of up to 250 km/h
With its exceptional performance, Mazda3 MPS demands exceptional aerodynamics. Special attention was paid to reducing drag to enable a top speed of 250 km/h***, and to achieving aerodynamic performance that supports stable straight running, lane changing and overtaking manoeuvres at high speeds. A wide variety of underfloor parts were employed, including those specially designed for the MPS, to achieve the superior aerodynamic performance targets (Cd=0.31).

 

Focus on Safety -- Upgraded Brake System to Match the High Power
The starting point for Mazda3 MPS safety package was to preserve the accurate, predictable handling of the original Mazda3. Large diameter 4-wheel disc brakes, ventilated 320 mm discs at front and solid 280 mm discs at rear, 8+9 inch tandem brake booster and a large 1 inch diameter master cylinder yield powerful and stable braking. Standard equipment includes 4W ABS, emergency brake assist, and dynamic stability control (DSC), all of which provide active safety for the MPS in a range of driving scenarios. In addition, a rain-sensing wiper system and auto light system are also available (depending on market and grade) to give the driver a clear view of the road and help prevent accidents.

 

For protection during collision from any direction, Mazda3 MPS employs the unique Mazda Advanced Impact energy Distribution and Absorption System to deliver a robust and safe body structure. Inside the cabin, front dual airbags are fitted as standard, along with side and curtain airbags. A collapsible brake pedal and revised steering column structure reduce the risk of injury to the driver's lower legs, while a seat belt reminder system, which confirms whether seatbelts are buckled or not, is also included to support the safety of the front and rear occupants.

* DISI - Direct Injection Spark Ignition
** Mazda target subject to change upon homologation
*** Electronically limited
**** Under Mazda test restrictions

 

Comparison of Suspension Specifications

 

Mazda3 MPS

Mazda3 Facelift

 

Front

Rear

Front

Rear

Coil spring rate

33 N/mm

30 N/mm

23 N/mm

23 N/mm

Stabilizer diameter

26 mm

25 mm

21 mm

20 mm

Roll stiffness

2.18 deg/G

3.47deg/G


Mazda3 MPS Dimensions

 

 

Mazda3 MPS

Body Type

 

Monocoque

Seating capacity

 

5

Seat type

 

2 individual front

3 bench type rear

External Dimensions

 

 

Overall length w/license plate holder

(mm)

4435

Overall width

(mm)

1765

Overall height

(mm)

1465

Wheelbase

(mm)

2640

Front Tread

(mm)

1530

Rear Tread

(mm)

1515

 

Mazda3 MPS Technical Specifications

 

 

MZR DISI 2.3L Turbo

Engine Type

 

Inline 4-cylinder, DOHC turbo petrol

Displacement

cm3

2261

Bore x stroke

mm

87.5 x 94.0

Valves

 

4 per cylinder

Max. power*

-kW

-PS

more than 184 at 5500 rpm

more than 250 at 5500 rpm

Max. torque*

-Nm

380 at 3000 rpm

Fuel type

 

Unleaded 98RON

Emission control system

 

3-way catalytic converter

Emissions ranking

 

Euro Stage IV

Transmission

 

6-speed manual

Powertrain

 

Front engine, front-wheel drive

Gear Ratios

 

 

1st

 

3.538

2nd

 

2.238

3rd

 

1.535

4th

 

1.171

5th

 

1.085

6th

 

0.853

Final drive ratio (1st - 4th)

 

3.941

Final drive ratio (5th -- 6th)

 

3.350

Reverse

 

3.831

Performance

 

 

Top Speed**

km/h

250

Acceleration***

 

 

0-100 km/h

(sec)

6.1

50-100 km/h in 3rd gear

(sec)

4.2

80-120 km/h in 5th gear

(sec)

5.4

Fuel consumption*

 

 

Combined

l/100 km

9.7

Suspension and Wheels

 

 

Front suspension

 

MacPherson Independent struts

Rear suspension

 

Independent Multi-link

Wheel size

 

18×7J

Tyre size

 

215/45R18 93Y

Brakes

 

 

Type front

 

Ventilated discs

Type rear

 

Solid discs

Diameter front

(mm)

320

Diameter rear

(mm)

280

* Mazda targets subject to change upon homologation

** Electronically limited

*** Under Mazda test conditions

 

 


Mazda3 Facelift
Enhanced Design, Quality, Comfort and Performance

*The following summarizes information on Mazda products to be exhibited at the 2006 Geneva International Motor Show. Specifications and equipment are subject to change.

Also premiering at Geneva 2006 is the new facelift version of the highly acclaimed Mazda3 line up, which introduced exhilarating driving performance, emotional styling and high levels of craftsmanship to the global C-segment when it was launched in 2003. The Mazda3 facelift* takes these attributes to a new level and features even more exhilarating driving fun with improved torque characteristics for all engines plus an available six speed manual transmission. Styling enhancements raise the original Mazda3's emotionally-appealing first impression of sportiness and quality. And Mazda craftsmanship has also been improved, with an interior look and feel that users will appreciate every time they drive the car.

Exterior Design -- Two Body Styles, Two Distinct Personalities
Adding to the emotional personality of its predecessor, the Mazda3 facelift 4 door sedan's image of modern elegance is further enhanced. Redesigned bumpers provide a massive look and a chrome bar on the front grille expresses a high quality feel. For the 5 door hatchback, the grille's upper bar is body coloured and further refines the original's smartly energetic Zoom-Zoom styling. In addition, 15, 16 and 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels have all been redesigned. Sports appearance package (SAP) equipment and selected options are also available to give both the 4 door and 5 door versions a more athletic look: the 4 door SAP promotes a feeling of stability, while the 5 door SAP is the sportiest model in the Mazda3 facelift line up and exudes a youthful personality.

Interior Design
Particular attention was paid to improving interior quality. Two interior colour schemes are planned, depending on grade and market, a grey interior colour for a feeling of high class sporty refinement, and a sports-oriented black interior. Both interior colour packages received newly designed white cluster meters and a stylish piano black decoration panel. The Sports Grade (depending on market) with black interior and blackout type meters includes a decorative insert finished with a hairline treatment in the instrument panel to communicate even more high quality and sportiness.

More Mature Driving Attributes and a More Refined Ride
Mazda engineers began work on bolstering Mazda3's highly-regarded dynamic performance immediately after the original model launch, with the aim of improving fuel economy, ride comfort and quietness. To deliver this, engines and transmissions were upgraded to achieve a livelier, more comfortable drive supported by ample torque. In addition to improving Mazda3 facelift's handling stability, ease of operation and ride quality, Mazda also achieved further reductions in noise and vibration.

Matured Powertrain Line Up
The engine line up for the Mazda3 facelift consists of five Euro Stage IV compliant powerplants: the MZR 2.0-litre, 1.6-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines, and two variants of the MZ-CD 1.6-litre common-rail turbocharged diesel engine.

The MZR 2.0-litre petrol engine produces 110 kW/150 PS of maximum power at 6,500 rpm* and maximum torque of 187 Nm at 4,000 rpm*. It adopts a high-accuracy electronic throttle control for the first time, along with newly introduced sequential valve timing (S VT). Optimal adjustment of the engine's intake valve operation in response to running conditions achieves high charging efficiency. Together with a variable induction system (VIS), this allows the engine to achieve powerful torque throughout the whole rev range. The MZR 1.6-litre petrol engine -- with a maximum power output of 77 kW/105 PS at 6,000 rpm* and maximum torque of 145 Nm at 4,000 rpm* - retains the same S-VT and VIS as the original model, and is calibrated to further improve fuel efficiency. The base MZR 1.4-litre petrol engine produces 62 kW/84 PS of maximum power at 6,000 rpm* and 122 Nm of maximum torque at 4,000 rpm* (depending on market offer). This engine is given modified valve timing based on the S-VT already employed. This heightens charging efficiency at low engine speeds without sacrificing power in the higher engine speed range to give ample torque at low and middle engine speeds for powerful, easy driving.

The MZ CD 1.6-litre diesel engine remains in the Mazda3 facelift line up for Europe. Two versions are available with maximum power outputs of 66 kW/90 PS and 80 kW/109 PS at 4,000 rpm* and maximum torque of 215 Nm and 240 Nm at just 1,750 rpm* respectively (90 PS depending on market offer). Both deliver an exceptional balance of power, low fuel consumption and emissions, and low NVH. Both of these DOHC 16 valve engines feature aluminium construction for low weight, along with a 160 MPa ultra high pressure common-rail injection system. The standard powered diesel employs a fixed geometry turbocharger and the higher powered diesel employs a variable geometry turbocharger and also a diesel particulate filter.

The MZR 2.0-litre petrol engine is available with a newly-introduced six speed manual transmission. Triple cone synchronizers for first and second gears and double cone synchronizers for third and fourth gears assure ample sync capacity for a light, crisp shift feel and predictable operation. Gear ratios between third and sixth gears are set close to provide better, stress-free passing acceleration at high speeds. The sixth gear functions as overdrive and contributes to improved quietness at high speed as well as better fuel economy.

The standard five speed manual transmission for the MZR 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrols has been further refined throughout, and clutch operating feel has been improved. The MZR 1.6-litre petrol engine is also available with an electronically controlled, four speed automatic transmission (depending on market).

The sound of the engine is one of the important elements affecting the vehicle's fun-to-drive aspects, as well as good acceleration and gear shift feel. Mazda3 facelift petrol models have higher-rigidity drive shaft mountings to reduce the droning sound generated at high engine speeds and the alternator mounted on the MZR 2.0-litre petrol engine is specifically designed to reduce the operating noise . These measures result in a linear acceleration feel up to high engine speeds.

Further Evolution of Mazda3's Acclaimed Body and Chassis
The Mazda3 facelift's body shell has been upgraded by bolstering local rigidity for an even stiffer, safer body and even sportier handling and firm ride quality. The suspension system has been optimized to further reinforce Mazda3's acclaimed Zoom Zoom handling, while still achieving a refined and comfortable ride. Mazda3 facelift's MacPherson strut front suspension has improved damper performance and has been tuned to improve steering response and reduce understeer during high speed cornering. The multi link rear suspension ensures improved rear end stability during high speed cornering.

Improved Aerodynamics
To further enhance Mazda3 facelift's exciting dynamic performance, the aerodynamics team focused on reducing high speed drag and improving stability. In particular, they worked to improve underfloor aerodynamics, achieving superior aerodynamic performance (for the 5-door hatchback, Cd = 0.30). In addition to contributing to better fuel economy and improved high speed acceleration, Mazda3 facelift's upgraded aerodynamics contribute to even more exceptional handling stability, with predictable straight line driving and high-speed lane changing.

Improved Quietness
Further evolving the Zoom Zoom driving enjoyment of the Mazda3 facelift included isolating road noise and reducing wind noise during high speed driving. Measures taken include expanding the use of bonnet-underside insulation to more models, revising tyres, bolstering rim rigidity, improving suspension vibration characteristics, and installing sound absorbing material in the cabin roof of all models.

New Features for Even More Comfort and Ease of Use
The Mazda3 facelift employs several new features for improved comfort and ease-of-use. An advanced keyless entry and start system is introduced (depending on market and grade). Simply carrying a card-type key allows the driver to lock and unlock the doors, the boot or rear hatch, and start and stop the engine by turning the starter knob. In addition, the advanced key's lock/unlock button and outer door handle request switch enable opening or closing all windows from outside the car. In hot sunshine the car can be ventilated, or a window left open can be closed, without having to get back in the car. The Mazda3 facelift's integrated audio system includes a 20 GB hard disk drive with capacity to store up to approximately 3000 tracks recorded from CDs, as well as a CD player and AM/FM tuner (depending on market offer).

High Levels of Safety
The Mazda3 facelift's standard active safety package includes four wheel disc brakes with ventilated 278 mm discs at front and solid 265 mm discs at rear (for the MZR 2.0-litre, 300 mm at front and 280 mm at rear), 4W ABS, EBD and emergency brake assist. Dynamic stability control (DSC) is also available for stable handling. In addition, auto light and rain-sensing wiper systems help to maintain clear visibility of the road in bad weather and during night driving.

Mazda3 facelift's passive safety systems feature a rigid body shell that provides exceptional collision safety. For occupant protection, front dual airbags are standard, and side and curtain airbags are available as well (depending on market and grade). In addition, the shape of the tilt and telescopic steering column adjustment lever is modified, and impact absorbing material is installed to the steering column, to help reduce the possibility of injury to the driver's knees. A collapsible brake pedal helps reduce the risk of lower leg injury in a frontal collision, and both the front and rear seats have a seatbelt reminder to confirm whether seatbelts are buckled or not.

* Mazda target values subject to change upon homologation

 

Mazda3 Facelift Dimensions

 

 

Mazda3 Facelift Hatchback

Mazda3 Facelift Sedan

Body Type

 

Monocoque

Monocoque

Doors

 

5

4

Seat type

 

2 individual front

3 bench type rear

2 individual front

3 bench type rear

Dimensions

 

 

 

External

 

Standard / Sports Appearance Package

Standard / Sports Appearance Package

Overall length w/license plate holder

(mm)

4415 / 4435

4490 / 4515

Overall width

(mm)

1755

1755

Overall height

(mm)

1465

1465

Wheelbase

(mm)

2640

2640

Front Tread

(mm)

1530

1530

Rear Tread

(mm)

1515

1515

 

Preliminary Mazda3 Facelift Technical Specifications -- Petrol

 

 

MZR 1.4-litre*

MZR 1.6-litre

MZR 2.0-litre

Engine Type

 

Inline, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve

Inline, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve

Inline, 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve

Displacement

cm3

1349

1598

1999

Bore x stroke

mm

74.0 x 78.4

78.0 x 83.6mm

87.5 x 83.1

Valves

 

4 per cylinder

4 per cylinder

4 per cylinder

Max. Power**

-kW

-PS

62 at 6000 rpm

84 at 6000 rpm

77 at 6000 rpm

105 at 6000 rpm

110 at 6500 rpm

150 at 6500 rpm

Max. torque**

-Nm

122 at 4000 rpm

145 at 4000 rpm

187 at 4000 rpm

Fuel type

 

Unleaded 95RON

Unleaded 95RON

Unleaded 95RON

Fuel consumption**

 

 

 

 

Combined

 

6.7

Man.:6.9/

Auto.: 7.8 hatch/

7.6 sedan

7.9

Emission Control System

 

3-way catalytic converter

3-way catalytic converter

3-way catalytic converter

Emission ranking

 

Euro Stage IV

Euro Stage IV

Euro Stage IV

Battery

 

12 V

12 V

12 V

Transmission

 

5-speed manual

5-speed manual / 4-speed automatic

6-speed manual

Powertrain

 

Front engine, front-wheel drive

Front engine, front-wheel drive

Front engine, front-wheel drive

Gear Ratios

 

 

 

 

1st

 

3,416

3,416/2,816

3,454

2nd

 

1,842

1,842/1,497

2,059

3rd

 

1,290

1,290/1,000

1,392

4th

 

0,972

0,972/0,725

1,030

5th

 

0,820

0,820/-

0,837

6th

 

-

-

0,717

Reverse

 

3,214

3,214/2,648

3,198

Final Drive Ratio

 

4,388

4,388/4,416

4,388

Suspension and Wheels

 

 

 

 

Front Suspension

 

MacPherson Independent struts

MacPherson Independent struts

MacPherson Independent struts

Rear Suspension

 

Independent Multi-link

Independent Multi-link

Independent Multi-link

Wheel size

 

15x6J

 

15x6J

16x6.5J

16x6.5J

17x6.5J

Tyre size

 

195/65R15

 

195/65R15

205/55R16

205/55R16

205/50R17

Brakes

 

 

 

 

Type front

 

Ventilated Discs

Ventilated Discs

Ventilated Discs

Type rear

 

Solid Discs

Solid Discs

Solid Discs

Diameter front

(mm)

278

278

300

Diameter rear

(mm)

265

265

280

*  Available with hatchback only

** Mazda target values subject to change upon homologation

 

Preliminary Mazda3 Facelift Technical Specifications -- Diesel

 

 

MZ-CD 1.6-litre

MZ-CD 1.6-litre

 

Engine Type

 

Inline 4-cylinder, DOHC turbo-diesel

Inline 4-cylinder, DOHC turbo-diesel with DPF

 

 

 

Standard Power*

High Power

 

Displacement

cm3

1560

1560

 

Bore x stroke

mm

75.0 x 88.3

75.0 x 88.3

 

Valves

 

4 per cylinder

4 per cylinder

 

Fuel system

 

Common-rail direct injection

Common-rail direct injection

 

Ignition system

 

Self-ignition

Self-ignition

 

Max. power**

-kW

-PS

66 at 4000 rpm

90 at 4000 rpm

80 at 4000 rpm

109 at 4000 rpm

 

Max. torque**

-Nm

215 at 1750 rpm

240 at 1750 rpm

 

Fuel type

 

Diesel

Diesel

 

Emission control system

 

Oxidation catalytic converter

Diesel particulate filter and oxidation catalytic converter

 

Fuel consumption**

 

 

 

 

Combined

l/100 km

4.7

4.8

 

Emissions ranking

 

Euro Stage IV

Euro Stage IV

 

Battery

 

12 V

12 V

 

Transmission

 

5-speed manual

5-speed manual

Powertrain

 

 

 

Gear Ratios

 

 

 

1st

 

3,666

3,666

2nd

 

2,047

2,047

3rd

 

1,344

1,344

4th

 

0,921

0,921

5th

 

0,704

0,704

Reverse

 

3,727

3,727

Final Drive Ratio

 

3,411

3,411

Suspension and Wheels

 

Front engine, front-wheel drive

Front engine, front-wheel drive

Front suspension

 

MacPherson Independent struts

MacPherson Independent struts

Rear suspension

 

Independent Multi-link

Independent Multi-link

Wheel size

 

15x6J

15x6J

16x6.5J

17x6.5J

Tyre size

 

195/65R15

 

195/65R15

205/55R16

205/50R17

Brakes

 

 

 

Type front

 

Ventilated discs

Ventilated discs

Type rear

 

Solid discs

Solid discs

Diameter front

(mm)

278

278

Diameter rear

(mm)

265

265

*  Available with hatchback only

** Mazda target values subject to change upon homologation

 

 


Mazda Kabura Design Concept
Redefining the Sports Coupe

This year's Geneva Motor Show also sees the European premiere of the Mazda Kabura design concept. Created at Mazda's design centre in Irvine, California, Kabura ventures beyond the compact sports coupe norm to explore several fresh ideas that could appear in future production models. It is the third Mazda concept to be shown during the last six months at motor shows around the world, including the Mazda Senku designed at the Hiroshima design centre and revealed at the last Tokyo Motor Show and the Mazda Sassou, designed at Mazda's European design centre at Oberursel, Germany and shown at the IAA in Frankfurt in September 2005.

Mazda Kabura continues the Zoom-Zoom tradition of delivering exhilarating sports cars and incorporates the front engine, rear-drive layout employed in the Mazda's MX-5 roadster and Mazda's RX-8 rotary-engine sports car. Power is supplied to Kabura's rear wheels by a 2.0-litre version of Mazda's spirited MZR DOHC 16-valve engine. While this concept has been constructed over several MX-5 chassis components, basic dimensions fall between Mazda's MX-5 and RX-8 sports cars. Were the Kabura design study to achieve production status, it would likely be a stand-alone product rather than an extension of any existing model range.

Mazda Kabura also stretches the bounds of interior versatility in radical directions and was designed to appeal to young customers and to support their lifestyles. Replacing the typical 2+2 seating layout is a clever 3+1 interior concept that delivers greater passenger comfort versus a traditional coupe without increasing weight or size. Perfect for spur-of-the-moment adventures and everyday shopping, all passenger seats fold flat to make way for snowboards, shopping bags and all the tools of an active life. The Mazda Kabura design concept combines the look and feel of an exotic sports car with practicality and affordability.

"Kabura" is a Japanese term taken from "KABURA-ya", which is an arrow that makes a howling sound when shot and was historically used to signal the start of a battle. The "first arrow into battle" depicts Mazda's spirit of pursuing unique and exciting ventures such as the rotary engine.

Kabura is not only the first Mazda compact coupe for the 21st-Century, it's also the first project guided by Mazda North American Operations' (MNAO) Director of Design Franz von Holzhausen, who joined Mazda in February 2005. The 37-year-old von Holzhausen studied industrial design at Syracuse University and graduated from the prestigious Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena, California.

"With Kabura, we set out to use innovative design to rekindle the passion for driving," said von Holzhausen. "Our intention is to rouse the segment with some intravenous creativity. While we have no plans at the moment to build a production version of Kabura, it is not a complete flight of fancy. It embodies several innovations Mazda could implement when a compact sports coupe, steeped in Zoom-Zoom, is ready for production."

Spirited Exterior Design
Mazda's latest concept vehicle targets the demands of potential young car buyers, who tend to be several steps ahead of the latest trends and constantly on the lookout for affordable possessions that express their lifestyles in stylish ways. For these customers, design plays a major role, and Kabura exhibits a design direction that Mazda could possibly implement in the future.

Von Holzhausen describes Kabura's exterior as "a nimble-looking fuselage with a powerful stance, pronounced wheel arches and taut surfaces. Every line flows into another with no open ends. Surfaces are drawn tight over the wheel arches, the way a spider's web stretches between anchor points."

While Kabura's profile is reminiscent of classic coupes, the windshield and forward portion of the roof are integrated into one seamless glass surface extending from the cowl to the B-pillar giving the interior a feeling of roominess and space. On the inside, the overhead portions of the glass have adjustable tinting so that the driver can twist a knob on bright days to change the roof's opacity, as desired, from clear to completely opaque.

Behind its B-pillar, Kabura has a two-piece rear hatch opening made of glass. The upper third of this glass panel pivots up and open at the bottom using an electric motor, in a way similar to how a flap pivots out of the back edge of an airplane wing. This not only creates a roof spoiler, it also vents air from the interior and augments rear passenger headroom. In addition, a photovoltaic solar cell in the panel helps to control interior temperature as well as recharge the battery. The larger glass hatch panel below this adds to the concept's functionality. It has left side-mounted hinges, which allow the entire glass panel to be opened to provide easy access to Kabura's boot.

Unique Three-Door System
Mazda Kabura design concept employs a truly insightful three-door access system. Mazda has a long tradition of innovative door systems including centre-opening doors first shown on the RX-Evolv and RX-01 show cars, and implemented in the revolutionary centre-opening doors of the Mazda RX-8. Mazda Kabura takes this one step further. To maintain a sleek roofline, while offering rear access that is superior to what's available in today's compact coupes, von Holzhausen's team designed Kabura with an extra right-side door. After the right, front door is opened, touching a button slides the bonus door straight back and out of the way. Instead of swinging on hinges as in the innovative Mazda RX-8, this additional door glides neatly into a cavity notched into the rear-quarter panel area, the way a pocket door disappears into a house wall.

Creative Interior Design
"While examining the habits and tastes of our youthful customers, we found that the majority have a need to carry one or at most two passengers in comfort, while a very small percentage actually use the fourth seat on limited occasions," von Holzhausen said. "Clearly, the standard 2+2 compact coupe configuration with restricted rear access and limited seating space doesn't work in this context, so we created a 3+1 layout for Kabura that resolves those shortcomings."

On the inside, Mazda Kabura has three full-sized seats and a small, foldable fourth seat behind the driver's seat suitable for a small female passenger or a child. The right side of Mazda Kabura features a unique asymmetrical passenger seat arrangement. Insightful packaging that included removing the glove box and minimizing the size of the instrument panel, allowed designers to locate the front passenger seat 15.24 cm forward of the driver's seating position. This left room for a full-sized passenger seat directly behind, with approximately the same leg, shoulder, and headroom as the front passenger enjoys.

Eco-friendly Interior Materials
In addition to Mazda Kabura's innovative styling and interior packaging, von Holzhausen's team decided that introducing a level of sustainability and recyclability should also be an important aspect of the concept. By partnering with Sustainable Solutions, Inc. (SSI), a leader in reengineering post-industrial waste materials into quality consumer products, Mazda Kabura was designed with an eye toward future environmental compatibility. Some parts of Kabura's interior are produced using SSI's innovative regenerated leather substrate made entirely of material recovered from the manufacturing of sports shoes. SSI's leather-grind can be dyed and printed in any colour or design and appears in Mazda Kabura as a technical yet inviting material.

Mazda Kabura Specifications

Dimensions

 

 

Overall length

mm

4050

Overall width

mm

1780

Overall height

mm

1280

Wheelbase

mm

2550

Seating capacity

 

4 persons (3 + 1)

Engine

Type

MZR 2.0-litre  DOHC 16-valve

Transmission

Type

6-speed manual

Suspension front / rear

Type

Double wishbone/Multi-link

Tyres

 

Front : 245/35 R19 

Rear:   245/35 R20

Bridgestone Potenza

 

 

 


Mazda Sassou
Mazda Alive

Also at Geneva 2006 is the Mazda Sassou design concept, first shown at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Conceived and designed at Mazda's European Design Centre in Frankfurt, Germany, it is a sleek, three-door hatchback for young, first car customers that makes everyday city driving fun, highly practical and economical.

"Mazda Sassou is a look over the Mazda horizon and what it proposes is new and exciting," said Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer at Mazda Motor Europe GmbH. "Sassou not only evolves Mazda small car design in a lightweight, fun-looking B-car package, it also represents a new way to express some traditional automotive attributes and provides a first Zoom-Zoom driving experience for young buyers."

Buoyed by global sales momentum and award-winning vehicles, the horizon at Mazda does indeed look positive and exciting, and the Japanese word "Sassou" was chosen precisely because it means having a positive state of mind, of looking to the future with optimism. Mazda Sassou, then, is not only an advanced evolution of Mazda's Zoom-Zoom design language, but is a symbol of the forward-thinking optimism of the entire organization.

Exterior Design -- Mazda Alive
Mazda Sassou is an advanced interpretation of Mazda stylishness that visually communicates dynamic potential so typical of the brand, yet mixes this with a youthful lightness and surprising hidden features never seen on a Mazda concept before. This was achieved by employing what the design team calls the "Shoji" principle. Shoji screens are thin Japanese doors made of rice-paper that partially hide what is behind them. Opening them for the first time can reveal something surprising.

This is also true of a first encounter with Mazda Sassou. "The Shoji-like attributes of our design hide and then suddenly reveal various things with an illumination system that makes the car seem to spring to life," said Masanori Minamisawa, Mazda Assistant Chief Designer now based at Mazda's Design Centre in Frankfurt. "We call it Mazda Alive because the lighting cascades and pulses like its being circulated by heartbeats just below the surface of the car."

The front of the vehicle further evolves the nose design of the Mazda RX-8 and features a large grille that is framed by chevron shaped headlight graphics and designed to move in and out, depending on cooling system requirements. These, along with the rear lamp graphics, are integrated into the surrounding body panels beneath translucent plastic treated in a way to match the body colour, which partially hides them when Mazda Sassou is parked. They come alive when the car is unlocked, using indirect illumination of the reflector and function as normal headlamps and rear lamps, when activated, using direct LED lighting. The front and rear turn indicators also use direct LED lighting and, when activated, make the design of the lamp graphics even more striking.

Mazda Sassou's silhouette is an evolution of Mazda's new-generation panelling, with a powerful side sill framed by 18-inch alloy wheels that make the concept look light and sporty when seen from the side. Mazda Sassou also has frameless side windows that, when open, create a single daylight opening, a C-pillar design that angles rearwards into the boot area and a glass roof, all of which enhances Mazda Sassou's light, agile looking exterior, allowing for consistent exterior lighting in the cabin.

Interior -- Mazda Insightful Packaging Redefined
Mazda Sassou's interior is conceived to be interactive, comfortable and flexible. It uses a universal serial bus (USB) stick key that functions in place of a traditional key and includes a remote central locking function. This USB stick key activates all interior systems when inserted into an illuminated USB port in the centre console and allows the driver to start Sassou by using an ignition button next to the driver metre cluster. It also causes a joystick to rise up from the centre console which can be used to navigate into menus and select main functions on a centre control screen in the instrument panel. The Mazda Alive theme is played out here as well. When a function is selected, fluid light circuits illuminate a path to the selected feature, say the air vents, in either the instrument panel or the door trim.

Mazda Sassou would, were it to ever reach production, have its own hard disc drive, security code recognition and Mazda software for owners, including a navigation programme that could all be downloaded onto the vehicle's USB stick key. The owner could download directions to his favourite pub or beach hang out, the music he wants to listen to that day, using the USB stick key on his computer at home. When he inserts it into the Mazda Sassou interface slot, it would then automatically download onto the concept's hard drive. And not only is Mazda Sassou flexible in its HMI (human-machine interface) approach, its interior seating system is as well -- with electric seat tip functionality for easy access and unique "morphing" rear seat flexibility that provides a three or four-seat configuration on demand. For one rear passenger, compressed air fills the sides of the rear seating area to form a single seat in the middle. For two passengers, air fills the seatback in the middle, forming two seats on each side.

Powertrain and Environment -- Targeting Low Emissions
The Mazda Sassou design concept has been developed to support either a petrol or diesel powertrain of relatively small displacement. Knowing that Sassou's young target customer would probably prefer petrol, Mazda engineers have envisioned using an all-new, turbocharged, three-cylinder, 1.0-litre DISI* MZR engine with a dry-type twin-clutch 6-speed powershift transmission with paddles on the steering wheel, making it both fun and easy to drive in city traffic. Smooth acceleration and plenty of torque characterize Mazda's DISI turbo engines and this powertrain would ideally match the spirited and sporty nature of the Sassou concept. Combined with the Sassou's advanced aerodynamic shape and small, lightweight body, and idle-stop technology, it might someday contribute to a further reduction in fuel consumption and CO2.

* DISI: Direction Injection Spark Ignition

 

Mazda Sassou Design Concept Specifications

External

 

 

Overall length

(mm)

3890

Overall width

(mm)

1740

Overall height

(mm)

1370

Wheelbase

(mm)

2490

Interior

 

 

Seating capacity

(mm)

4

Length of load floor rear seats folded

(mm)

1400

Width of load floor rear seats folded

(mm)

1200

Boot volume (floor to ceiling)

(litres)

1360

Engine

Type

MZR I-3 1.0L DISI* turbo

with Mazda Idle-Stop System

Transmission

Type

Dry-type Twin-clutch 6-speed

Powershift Transmission

Suspension

Type

 

Front

 

MacPherson struts

Rear

 

Torsion beam

Tyres

 

225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Exalto2

 

 


Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid Concept
Zoom-Zoom Performance with Low Emissions

Also on stage at Geneva 2006 is an eco-friendly concept vehicle, the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid, which employs Mazda's unique hydrogen rotary engine technology with an electric motor. This concept combines Zoom-Zoom performance with very low emissions, and is a further example of the flexibility and environmental potential of Mazda's rotary-engine technology. Placed in a transverse, front-wheel drive layout, the hybrid engine allows optimal packaging for a Mazda5 concept that seats five people without sacrificing comfort.

Mazda Motor Corporation has consistently applied its engineering expertise to develop viable hydrogen-fuel rotary engines with the goal of reducing harmful emissions without sacrificing Mazda Zoom-Zoom driving fun. After introducing the rear-wheel drive Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE concept two years ago in Geneva, Mazda now introduces a front-wheel drive hydrogen rotary engine concept in its roomy, compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV), Mazda5, combined this time with hybrid technology. This concept is the latest test vehicle from over 15 years of Mazda alternative fuel development that began with the Mazda HR-X in 1991 and includes an experimental MX-5 hydrogen rotary vehicle, and fuel-cell electric vehicles.

A turning point in Mazda's eco-friendly engine development, however, came with the launch of Mazda RX-8's revolutionary RENESIS rotary engine in 2003, which won a total of four International Engine of the Year awards in 2003 and 2004. This naturally-aspirated petrol rotary engine delivers a marked improvement in both emissions (achieving Euro Stage IV compliance) and fuel consumption compared to Mazda's previous generation of turbocharged rotary engines, while retaining and even improving the traditional strengths of the rotary engine concept -- smooth, high-rev performance and power delivery in a very compact size. Over 15 years of developing hydrogen-fuel rotary engines was applied to this new rotary generation and Mazda engineers quickly developed and built a dual-fuel hydrogen/petrol version of RENESIS. This version of the RX-8 is planned for fleet leasing in Japan this spring (2006), which is earlier than scheduled.

With the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid, all three of these technologies -- petrol, hydrogen and electric -- come together one concept vehicle. Onboard is RENESIS rotary engine performance using either hydrogen or petrol as fuel, and the advantages of a 30 kW/40 PS electric motor, which enhances torque and further lowers fuel consumption by facilitating idle-stop.

Comfort and Interior Space
The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept vehicle is the next step in Mazda's eco-friendly engine technology, and proves once again the flexibility of the rotary engine. By virtue of its compact size, RENESIS could be redesigned for a Mazda5 in an east-west, front-wheel drive layout -- in the RX-8, it has a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout -- leaving enough room in the engine compartment for the electric motor. The batteries of the electric motor and the petrol fuel tank could be located under the second row seats where they do not take away space in the interior. This in turn allowed engineers to place the high-pressure hydrogen fuel tank where Mazda5's third row of seats would normally be, with space behind the tank for luggage. They also added a tray on top of the tank to transport smaller items. The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid, then, is a five-seat compact MAV that retains interior comfort, despite having three different power sources.

The concept not only delivers the comfort expected of a five-seat Mazda5, its low emissions and fuel consumption would mean additional benefits for buyers whenever it would eventually go into production. And since the petrol-only version of the RENESIS rotary powerplant requires just minor engine changes to use hydrogen, it would be inexpensive to adapt and produce.

Mazda Hybrid Technology -- The Advantages of Electric Motor Support
The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept employs a dual-fuel system that is supported by a 30 kW/40 PS electric motor. The hybrid electric motor system is an especially eco-friendly aspect of this aggregate, since it stops the engine in some driving situations (standing at a traffic light, for instance) to save fuel, then restarts the engine when the driver is ready to pull away again. The electric motor also helps to ensure superior engine response during acceleration by supplementing the engine's torque. During deceleration the motor functions as a generator, recovering braking energy and using it to charge the battery.

Mazda Hydrogen Rotary Engine Technology
Working in conjunction with the electric motor of the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept is the RENESIS dual-fuel hydrogen/petrol rotary engine. This system is designed to be especially easy and practical to use in real world driving and features "on the fly" fuel selection, which allows the driver to switch from hydrogen to petrol mode without stopping the car. This is useful on long journeys or when driving through areas where there is no hydrogen infrastructure. The selection switch is located on the instrument panel in front of the driver. If the concept vehicle runs out of hydrogen during hydrogen-mode operation, it automatically switches to petrol mode.

The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid engine is supplied with hydrogen gas by an electronically controlled direct-injection system. With each of the engine's two rotor housings, air is drawn through a side port and hydrogen is injected directly into the induction chamber by an electronically controlled gas injector on the top of the rotor housing. There are several engine technologies employed to maximize the benefits of the rotary engine in hydrogen-combustion mode, including:

Backfire Suppression
Unlike a reciprocating engine, a rotary engine has separate low-temperature induction chambers and high-temperature combustion chambers. With the RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine, therefore, there is no risk of ignition in the part of the operating cycle in which hydrogen is injected. In other words, the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept's rotary engine realizes superior combustion without ever backfiring.

Direct Injection + Exhaust-gas Recirculation (EGR)
The concept's rotary engine, with its separate induction and combustion chambers, ensures a safer temperature -- compared to the higher temperatures here of a conventional piston engine -- for fitting the hydrogen injectors with their rubber seals. This allows the gas injectors to be mounted directly on the rotor housings beside the induction chambers for direct-injection.

In accordance with driving conditions, the direct-injection arrangement is optimally combined with a system that injects fuel into the intake manifold. An EGR system complements the fuel-supply arrangement to further enhance the engine's combination of high power and low exhaust emissions.

Excellent Mixing of Hydrogen and Air
A rotary engine also has a more vigorous intake flow and a longer operating cycle than a piston engine. This allows for an optimal mixing of the hydrogen-air intake charge and contributes to a uniform mixture, which is critical for hydrogen combustion.

Safety
The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid is equipped with sensors to detect leakage of hydrogen gas and prevent accidents. These sensors are located in the engine compartment, cabin and fuel tank. Warning of gas leakage is indicated by these sensors and they close the safety valve installed in the hydrogen tank.

* DISI: Direction Injection Spark Ignition

 

Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid Concept Specifications

Body and chassis

 

 

Seating capacity

 

5

Overall length

mm

4505

Overall width

mm

1745

Overall height

mm

1615

Wheelbase

mm

2750

Engine

 

RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine with dual-fuel system

Maximum output*

kW / PS

Hydrogen mode: 80 / 109

Petrol mode: 154 / 210

Maximum torque*

Nm / kgm

Hydrogen mode: 140 / 14.3

Petrol mode: 222   / 22.6

Fuel

 

Hydrogen and petrol

Electric motor

Type

AC synchronous

Maximum output

kW / PS

30 / 40

Battery

Type

Nickel hydride

Tyres

Front/rear

195/65R15

* Output from the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle

 

History of Mazda Hydrogen Rotary Engine Development

 

1991

Mazda develops its first hydrogen-fuelled rotary-engine car, the HR-X.

1992

Mazda test-operates a fuel-cell golf cart.

1993

Mazda develops its second hydrogen-fuelled rotary-engine car, the HR-X2, and develops an experimental MX-5 roadster powered by a hydrogen rotary engine.

1995

Mazda conducts Japan's first on-road tests of a car powered by a hydrogen rotary engine (a special version of the Capella Cargo).

1997

Mazda develops the Demio FC-EV (an electric car powered by a direct-hydrogen fuel cell).

2001

Mazda develops and conducts Japan's first on-road tests of an electric car powered by a methanol-reforming fuel cell (the Premacy FC-EV).

2003

Mazda unveils the RX-8 Hydrogen RE (an RX-8 with a hydrogen rotary engine).

2004

Mazda conducts the world's first on-road tests of an RX-8 powered by a hydrogen rotary engine with dual-fuel (hydrogen and petrol) capability.


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