Print 76 comment(s) - last by clarkn0va.. on Jan 8 at 2:01 PM

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 Dr of crap on 1/6/2014 2:14:23 PM , Rating: 3
WHY would you think that drivers ED classes SHOULD teach you how to drive a stick??? They only teach you how to handle the car well enough to get a license. THERE is no teaching how to drive a stick. WE have over 90% AT over here.

YOU need to learn how to drive a stick on you own.

RE: Hmmm
By Argon18 on 1/6/14, Rating: -1
RE: Hmmm
By Brandon Hill on 1/6/2014 3:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
What's the point? Over 80% of the vehicles sold today in the U.S. are automatics (last time I checked; it could be higher). The most popular segments in the U.S. market (full-size pickups, midsize sedans, compact/midsize crossover) are dominated by automatic transmissions.

The only place you even find a decent number of manuals anymore are in sports/sporty cars (even then, many are being replaced by DCT), BMW sports sedans, base-model economy cars, and... uh... I guess that's about it.

You don't teach for a dying breed. If you want to learn how to drive a stick, find a friend/family member that has one.

RE: Hmmm
By Dr of crap on 1/6/2014 4:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I said and yet I get a nasty reply - ??

Can't get through to some I guess.

RE: Hmmm
By clarkn0va on 1/8/2014 1:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
One has to wonder how much MT sales would rise if new drivers were taught to drive a stick.

And I do not believe your stat that 80% of vehicles sold in the US are AT. This may be true for passenger vehicles, but certainly not all vehicles.

If xx% of car and light truck buyers want to pay for AT, that's their business, but I think the merits of teaching MT to new drivers are apparent.

- it gives the driver the ability to lend, borrow or rent a MT vehicle
- it helps the driver understand what gears are and how they work in a vehicle. This is useful knowledge, even to somebody who drives AT.
- it promotes reduced vehicle manufacturing and recycling costs
- it promotes reduced fuel consumption. This effect may be diminished as AT and CVT get more sophisticated, but then it's a tradeoff with the previous point, isn't it?

RE: Hmmm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/6/2014 4:55:36 PM , Rating: 3
You're free to choose whatever you want for your personal car, but an education should include all of the available options

Uhh the purpose of the DMV isn't to teach you how to drive or educate you. That's YOUR job! It's to see if you can competently operate the vehicle you brought with you to the test.

Forcing people to learn transmissions they'll never have to use seems like a horrible use of tax dollars. And what is the upside exactly? How does that make our roads safer or whatever?

Automatics are for elderly and handicapped only, across most of the world.

My current car and most cars I've owned have been manuals. But this is just ridiculous, are you THAT shallow and childish?

RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/6/2014 7:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
Automatics of some form are where cars are going, even in Europe. I was a staunch manual only user until the ZF 8 speed auto (and to a lesser extent, BMW's 7 speed DCT). I now have no issues giving up a manual for these excellent transmissions. As a matter of fact, my next car WILL have either a ZF 8 speed auto or dual clutch.

RE: Hmmm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/7/2014 12:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well when I was a teenager I had major reconstruction on my left knee, and it's gotten worst pretty much every year since. I think the day is coming soon where I too will be resigned to an automatic transmission.

Sigh :(

RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 12:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
Well when I was a teenager I had major reconstruction on my left knee, and it's gotten worst pretty much every year since.
Ouch! Well when the day comes, at least the auto won't suck too bad. If it was 5 years ago, I'd hang myself. A DCT is the best alternative IMO.

RE: Hmmm
By Firebat5 on 1/7/2014 3:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
I do enjoy the DCT on my Lancer. It really is a lot of fun to drive. I wanted a manual but the wife didn't. Perfect compromise. All of the fun, none of the learning curve.

RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah DCTs are rocking these days -- though there are a lot of misguided people that think they should work like slushboxes. They don't!!

I hear you reclaimer about the left knee. Trashed mine back in my early 20s after a motorcycle wipeout. Was in a toes-to-crotch cast for 6 months and when I finally got out of it my I lost so much muscle my left thigh was 5 inches thinner than my right. It looked like a stick. After about 35 years since then I am getting really good at predicting the weather.

I have no problem driving stick at this age. I just don't bother when DCTs can shift 100 times faster than I ever could.

RE: Hmmm
By Concillian on 1/7/2014 2:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Tax dollars? Where do you live that tax dollars go for driver's ed? I had to pay for my own driver's training classes (California). Did something happen since 1991 when I learned to drive that tax dollars are being used to educate drivers?

I guess you could say tax dollars are used to test drivers, but by and large that funding comes from DMV fees, which are optional "taxes."

I parallel park less than 5% of the time I park, but I had to do that on my driving test. less then 5% of my turns are 3 point turns, but a driving test needs to make sure you know how to handle that situation. Why is it a bad thing to require people have basic knowledge of how to operate a transmission belonging to 10-20% of cars on the road? It obviously can't be required for the driving test, but there should be material in the written portion so there's at least a basic understanding.


People hate manuals in traffic because they feel that a quarter car length gap between them and the car in front of them must be filled immediately or it's like the end of the world or something.

Check how truckers drive in traffic... they pick a gear that's about the average speed and idle forwards in that gear. This causes gaps to get created and then shrink in front of them, but the truck still goes at roughly the same speed it otherwise would have. Not only is that the easiest way to drive in traffic, it's the most fuel efficient way AND it smooths traffic in that lane for less of the annoying stop and go BS.

So you end up with a gap in front of you. Don't worry, those brake lights will come again soon enough.

RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/6/2014 11:02:57 PM , Rating: 5
I feel quite the opposite, that there are only 4 classes of people who drive manuals.

1) Truck drivers who need a robust transmission for heavy hauling.

2) Poor people with no common sense to buy a used vehicle, instead want to shave a little bit off the cost of a new vehicle.

3) Immature young adults who want to feel like they are race car drivers on public roads.

4) Real race car drivers on a track.

4) Idiots

Notice I didn't list sports cars. There is no reason to drive a sports car on a public road in a manner where you need enough torque to need a manual transmission, and it's illegal to operate one in this reckless manner in many countries.

Only a masochist chooses to manually shift tens of thousands of times a year for no good reason. It's the equivalent of getting a dishwasher where you have to hit one button to start the water flowing, then hit another to fire up the heating element, then come back later and hit the controls to get it to spin the wand, then come back and get it to empty and start the rinse, then come back again and get it to heat dry, then come back later to get it to stop... instead of just pressing the start button and letting it do the rest for you AUTOMATICALLY.

That would be crazy to do, just like it's crazy to constantly shift when a car can do it for you.

There is no reason for the average person to learn to stick shift. Sure it's one of those things in life you might want to learn some day, just like it's handy to learn how to paint a room, put in a water heater, play golf, etc.

An education where you spend time learning something you never use later is what is wrong with the educational system already.

RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/6/2014 11:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
replace 4 with 5 a couple times

RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 1:06:21 AM , Rating: 1
I don't fit on your list. I just enjoy manual transmissions and prefer them, that's all. I do own a sports car but my previous cars were not (and had manuals). Up until relatively recently auto's just plain sucked. Now they're to the point where I wouldn't mind having one and in the case of DCT's, they're quicker and more consistent. And please stop with the illegalities of this or that. Do you really think that traffic violations are only related to what transmission is in your car? Since auto's are the overwhelming majority, it stands to reason that auto drivers are more prone to reckless and illegal behavior behind the wheel.

RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/7/2014 2:28:06 AM , Rating: 2
Of course traffic violations can occur for many reasons but we can break them down into two classes, intentional and accidental.

It's intentional when someone picks a manual because they want to drive their vehicle like it's a race car. You know it happens.

I'd be willing to bet that the % of manual shift drivers (cars, not trucks) who deliberately drive recklessly is far far higher than their automatic counterparts, that the # of events per driver is far higher.

No, it does not stand to reason that auto drivers as a group are more prone, although it does stand to reason that the total # of violations by that group is higher since auto drivers are a significant majority. Certainly that doesn't make every manual shift driver a criminal, but it does go a long way to explaining why many people pick a manual with no justifiable reason they care to share in public.

RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 12:22:24 PM , Rating: 1
Of course traffic violations can occur for many reasons but we can break them down into two classes, intentional and accidental.
Really? By who?

No, it does not stand to reason that auto drivers as a group are more prone, although it does stand to reason that the total # of violations by that group is higher since auto drivers are a significant majority. Certainly that doesn't make every manual shift driver a criminal, but it does go a long way to explaining why many people pick a manual with no justifiable reason they care to share in public.
Again, by who? And, YES, it DOES stand to reason that auto drivers are more prone to illegal behavior because they are in the vast majority (see I can do that too LOL!). I contend that auto drivers are inherently more reckless due to actual traffic statistics not someone's flawed opinion. In other words, you're wrong.

RE: Hmmm
By Moishe on 1/7/2014 4:19:41 PM , Rating: 1
Your thinking is so narrow that I'm surprised that you can get through your day.

You're really saying that there are only two options?
Racers and stupid people?

Maybe your personality is so shallow and uninteresting that it can be categorized like that, but I assure you that the rest of the world is full of very colorful people and opinions.

RE: Hmmm
By lucyfek on 1/7/2014 1:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
you may want think twice before coming up with bogus reasons to pick between AT and MT (and learn to count pass 4).
1. MT is more robust - guess this is why all military vehicle have AT. The reason more simple - AT does not require almost any skill from the operator, truck operators are expected to know what they were doing (and expenses associated with AT do add up, but since all stick drivers are 5) Idiots we'll skip this reason for now). Also it's the controls/hydraulics and not gear part that tends to fail (for MT once the "controller" failed he/she has no longer need for the rest of the system).
2) Poor people (I guess you are the 1%, good for you) should buy your used "pandora box" over affordable new vehicle with MT (and affordable choices are diminishing as marketers convinced public that more is better). I'll bet that all current new fancy AT vehicle will be next to impossible to keep pass 100k (maybe 150k) miles. Once you have to do dreaded AT overhaul (=replacement) or even swap dual-clutch (1500$ - omg, compare this to 400$ for old school clutch that you can actually do yourself if you want to go really cheap). Probably, some of these new AT tech can't be done outside of dealers network (again no cheap option)- tough luck, unless you were 5) Idiot who bought into a vehicle with MT.
3) Statistically, with AT vehicle dominating sales also the racers you encounter drive the AT (after all they know no better, never learned to drive stick, car salesman have no problems convincing them to get AT and big rims, and "great" financing offer they get seals the deal). Again, while 5) Idiots with MT can attempt the same it's just as likely that they went with MT to keep TCO of their vehicle purchase low and not to race (cause they are 2) Poor anyway).
4) Real race car drivers - well, I have to admit that new AT can shift faster and will outperform human with MT on the race track and this is what's used out there. On the public roads I'll take MT any day as I don't have a need for launch control, extra HPs and all the "premium" BS packaged simply to justify final price of the expensive car (and keep you tied to dealer's service shop later)). Once you considered all cars are made to be basically consumables that have to be replaced after certain mileage you'll realize that "sticking" with MT gives you the only opportunity to get pass this design goal of manufactures.
5) Idiots - not sure that either MT or AT is sufficient to qualify you as one but from strictly financial point of view - well you know where it all adds up to.

You can call me/us masochist but once I'm in a car (MT or AT as I have both) all I know is that MT actually does what I need or want and AT - well, it's like POS camera - you can only hope it did it. I do not consider it hard work to operate MT (it takes fraction of second to shift) and after all I'm not supposed to pay attention to stuff beyond controlling the vehicle (we can agree that this is for 5) Idiots). Needles to say, I would not take a long trip in a used vehicle with AT as pushing to a service station in the middle of nowhere is far beyond the level of masochism that normal MT driver would accept.
And I'll keep the money I spared by going with MT for better things than moving myself from A to B. And with average person no longer being able to operate MT my car stays off the menu of casual thieves (commonly 3) Immature young adults and 5) Idiots).

RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:50:02 PM , Rating: 1
You sir are a moron.

I was going to provide you a more complete response, but eath time I re-read your comments, I think that truly sums your post up in one short sentence.

RE: Hmmm
By Moishe on 1/7/2014 4:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
You're a fool.

What about those of us who simply like to drive manual transmissions?

I may be a minority, but I fit nowhere in your list.

I have a problem with people who want to call everyone else idiots because they don't 'get it.' It's that same attitude that believes that anyone who chooses to drive a higher MPG vehicle with no real 'need' is an idiot.

The benefit of an adult live-and-let-live attitude is that you recognize that there are people who are not like you. It's called diversity of thought.

I have a Jeep Wrangler. It has horrible gas mileage, and it's 4X4, and it's a manual transmission. Even worse *gasp*, I don't "need" it. But you know what? I like it, I can afford the gas, I enjoy the manual transmission, and on occasion I enjoy off-roading. If micro-managing, nanny-state, babysitter types want to judge me for having a differing opinion, they can shove it.

I think tiny cars are ugly and have very limited utility, but instead of being a self-centered tool, I accept that everyone is different and I embrace it.

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