Mazda has recently released the updated version of the Demio -- known in Europe as the Mazda2 -- for the market in Japan. Mazda’s new 1.3-liter SKYACTIV-G direct-injection gasoline engine is featured in the 2012 model year.
This unit, which was presented in May at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center near Tokyo, Japan, features dual sequential valve timing as well as an ultra high compression ratio. The SKYACTIV-G 1.3 and Mazda’s i-stop idling stop system results to a record high compression ratio of 4.0:1.
These are combined with avoiding technologies such as piston cavities that are meant to maintain ideal combustion and multi hole injectors to achieve precise fuel injection. Mazda filed 130 patents for the new 1.3-liter, which delivers 82 hp at 5,400 rpm (62 kW) and 112 Nm (83 LB-FT)of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Japanese test cycles show that the Demio offers 30km/l (for the combined cycle).
This is equivalent to 3.33 l/100 km or 70.6 mpg US. In addition, Mazda has developed a system named i-DM that tracks the movement of the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals. It also monitors the vehicle speed.
The driver is made aware about his capabilities through a gauge and colored lights on the dashboard. Mazda said that the score from each trip is utilized to measure a driving skill level, ranging from Stage 1 to Stage 3.
Mazda believes that when drivers go up the stages, they will know if there’s an improvement to their driving skills. The Demio is priced between JPY1,149,000 to JPY1,621,750 (US$14,400 to $20,300).
In its search for a solid form and an expressive exterior design, Mazda created the so-called "coordinated movement" exterior design theme, blending visual movements generated by the car's silhouette, its body lines, and the interplay of light on the body. This theme allowed the new Mazda 2 to offer dynamic multifaceted expressions -- not usually exhibited by a B-car – that makes the car appear to be moving even though it is on a standstill.
The new Mazda 2 features a sporty wedge shape conveying forward motion as well as a sculpted form in which the body of the car is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars. Moreover, the new Mazda 2 comes with unique character lines extending from the front fender arches to the shoulders. For the new Mazda 2, the Japanese carmaker ensured that it offers a Zoom-Zoom driving experience with its driver-focused maneuverability and thrilling driving dynamics.
During the development of the new Mazda 2, the carmaker focused on the delivery of high cost-effectiveness in situations ranging from day-to-day driving to long excursions on a weekend. Specifically, Mazda set out to make the new Mazda 2 economical to own in terms of fuel costs through its excellent fuel economy and improved durability. This so-called Zoom-Zoom driving experience features two key characteristics: first, a sense of linear acceleration and deceleration that sharply responds to the depression of the accelerator pedal, thereby allowing drivers to control vehicle speed as they wish; and the second, a sense of liveliness achieved by the quick response to the accelerator for quick zero-start acceleration and overtaking.
Thus, during the development of the new Mazda 2, the team aimed to achieve a performance feel that reflects improvements in these two Zoom-Zoom attributes without negatively affecting the car’s fuel efficiency. To bestow the new Mazda 2 with nimble handling and a stable ride, it was fitted with MacPherson struts on the front and a torsion-beam axle at the rear and its steering and braking systems were improved. Passenger comfort is defined by many factors like a quiet cabin environment.
For this, Mazda took various actions to ensure that the cabin is as quiet as possible during a trip. While enhancing the car’s coefficient of drag values results to better aerodynamics, it also helps the Mazda 2 become quieter and more fuel efficient as well as have a sportier ride. Meanwhile, the carmaker paid close attention to minimizing the new Mazda 2’s weight by employing a smaller body shell, optimizing its structure and using more high-tensile steel in its body.
These measures don’t only make the car much lighter as these also lowered its fuel consumption and improved its driving dynamics and safety. This approach -- similar to the "gram" strategy used in the development of the MX-5 sports car -- is part of Mazda’s famed weight-saving expertise. This ultimately allowed the Mazda 2 to receive five stars in the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) sans any compromise in driving performance and fuel economy.