Mazda 6 estate
Mazda 6 saloon
The all-new Mazda 6 range, which goes on sale in the UK in January 2013, will feature an innovative power storage stop-start system. There will also be a new coupe variant, effectively replacing the MX-6 that ended production in 1997, alongside the saloon and estate.
The set-up will help ensure that the powerful, 2.2-litre, Mazda 6 SkyActiv diesel will have a Co2 rating of just 104g/km. The new Mazda 6 was previewed at the recent Tokyo motor show by the Takeri concept.
Know as i-ELOOP, the set-up is based around a series of capacitors, mounted behind the nearside headlamp, which can store electricity in the same way as a battery. The system also uses a variable charge (12v-25v) alternator and a DC/DC convertor.
When the driver of the 6 Sky Activ lifts off the accelerator, energy from the car’s momentum is turned into electricity by the alternator and stored by the capacitors. It is then run through the DC convertor and stored in the car’s battery. This ‘free’ energy can then the used to power the vehicle systems such as the headlamps and air-con when the car’s engine is in ‘stop’ mode.
The energy in the i-ELOOP’s capacitor pack is deployed for the periods when the driver is accelerating. The alternator is de-clutched, so the engine is not using energy to generate electricity. Instead, the power needed to drive the car’s systems is again taken from the capacitor pack.
Mazda engineering sources told Autocar that, further into the future, larger capacitor packs will be fitted to the company’s vehicle to ‘aid acceleration’. The i-ELOOP will be fitted as part of Mazda’s new SkyActiv technologies.