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Mazda is already discussing Skyactiv 3 as well

Mazda only recently started introducing its Skyactiv engines to its different vehicle models, but the automaker is already talking about the upcoming Skyactiv 2 -- and even Skyactiv 3 -- engines for the next decade and beyond. 
 
According to a new report from Automotive News, Mazda plans to gain 30 percent better fuel economy with its Skyactiv 2 engines, which are expected to have a 2020 release date. A 30 percent improvement in fuel economy would make the already impressive Mazda3 rise from 29/41 mpg (city/highway) in its more efficient trim to 38/53 on regular unleased gasoline.
 

2014 Mazda3

Mazda plans to achieve this 30 percent increase in fuel economy by improving the internal combustion of the Skyactiv 2 engines. More specifically, the Skyactiv 2 engine's compression ratio would be bumped up to 18:1 from a current level of 14:1. 
 
This higher compression is able to reach the same combustion temperature as the current engines, but with a leaner mix of fuel -- meaning improved fuel economy. 
 
The Skyactiv 2 engines will utilize homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), which compresses the fuel-air mixture to a high enough pressure and temperature that it ignites by itself without needing a spark. This allows for more complete fuel combustion and lower nitrogen oxide emissions.
 
However, the Automotive News report indicates that HCCI won't come easy. Engineers must first expand the range of engine speeds for HCCI specifically, because the engine revving too quickly can result in a misfire due to the high number of revolutions, and if revved too slowly, it can misfire due to low temperatures.


2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine
 
Aside from that, engine cooling and the engine's tendency to behave differently based on the use of different fuels need to be figured out.
 
The main goal with Skyactiv 2 is to meet European carbon dioxide emissions standards of 95 grams per kilometer in 2020, but Mazda is looking even further ahead at meeting Europe's standards of 65 grams per kilometer in 2025 with Skyactiv 3. 
 
Mazda didn't go into great detail about Skyactiv 3, but the automaker plans to make more energy available for powering the wheels by limiting the fluctuation of heat in the combustion chamber and reduce losses from exhaust and cooling. Mazda hopes to reach well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emissions with Skyactiv 3 that rival electric vehicles.
 
Mazda first introduced Skyactiv engines to the U.S. market in 2011, starting with the Mazda3 sedan. Since then, they've been added to the Mazda6 sedan and CX-5 crossover.
 
Mazda has been trying to bring the Skyactiv-D diesel engine to the U.S. via the Mazda6, and was supposed to have achieved this by the second half of 2013. However, in September of last year, it was announced that delays in emissions testing has pushed that timetable to late spring of 2014.

Source: Automotive News



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RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/6/2014 2:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
I already have a 6-speed twin clutch automated manual in my Focus. It is pretty decent at keeping my engine at a usable rev range. Not sure I would find 10 speeds all that much better on gas, but who knows. I would prefer to avoid all the complexity added by another 4 gears - particularly in a slushbox transmission.


RE: Hmmm
By menting on 1/7/2014 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
do you find the driving experience annoying? I test drove the Hyundai Veloster, which had an automated manual, and it felt very strange. Was looking to buy a Focus, but the forums are littered with transmission issues, so didn't want to take a risk and went for the 2014 Mazda 3 instead.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 11:14:55 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I really like the dual-clutch automated manual transmission on the Focus. I do not find it annoying at all.

Yes, it does feel a bit different than a slushbox (common hydraulic) automatic. It's shifting feels more positive and responsive. You don't get the sloppy slippage that you normally feel with a standard automatic's shifting - DC transmissions are not as mushy.

If you are interested in purchasing a car with a dual clutch transmission, you need to remember that they are not automatics. They are automated manuals and will not feel exactly the same as a car with a slushbox. Take one for a test drive - in fact take one for several test drives before settling on one to make sure you can live with those differences. Above all be aware that these are primarily manual standards that deal with their own clutch pedal and shift for themselves according to what the car's computer tells them.

For the Ford's transmission, the only gripe I have is the way ford decided to handle the manual shifting options via buttons on the shifter rather than paddles or a shifter gate. It is not a big gripe because I am used to them, but I would have much preferred paddle shifters.

Also avoid the 2012 Focus. Ford had tranny issues with those that they fixed for 2013. Mine is a 2013 and I wouldn't trade it for any other car in its class.


RE: Hmmm
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/7/2014 11:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that the dual clutch is a wear item rated for ~150,000 miles, like a normal manual clutch. Replacement cost is around $1500.

The transmissions got a bad reputation for their shift logic, which is aimed at fuel economy (and probably had a few bugs regardless...). Outside of the Prius synergy drive, DCT are the among best automatics out there if you are concerned with efficiency/longevity. Ford is just going through the growing pains of offering such an advanced technology in such a cheap car.


RE: Hmmm
By menting on 1/7/2014 12:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the 2012 Focus: I was indeed looking to buy a 2012 Focus, but that had so many issues that I decided against it. the 2013 still had some issues it seems (based on the forums), so I decided against that as well.


RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
Can only comment on my own experience. But then I knew exactly what I was getting into when I bought the car and what to expect.

I have put almost 30,000 mi on mine and have yet to regret that decision. The transmission has never been an issue with it.


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