Automaker reveals it will cut up to 200kg from each of its next generation of cars
18 September 2008

Mazda has revealed more details of the weight-saving strategy that it says will help to cut up to 200kg from each of its next generation of cars.

The firm will use three different methods, concentrating on lighter materials, new designs for vehicle chassis and new material bonding techniques.

Many of these techniques were pioneered in the design of the 2, and Mazda plans to develop them further before using them to reduce the mass of a raft of new models.

The biggest change will be in the design of underbody structures, in order to maintain safety levels but not increase weight.

Instead of transferring crash forces through the car's body, impacts will be fed through the floorpan, which requires less strengthening.

This means the top half of the shell can be lightened. The car's sides will be straighter, too, with fewer curves, as this creates a stronger frame with less metal.

Mazda has also developed what is described as a 'micro-cell' plastic, with an aerated foam core. By using this material, the firm reckons it can reduce the weight of all the plastic parts in a car by up to 10 per cent.

Mazda hopes its package of changes will be able to cut 10 per cent from the weight of a car's body, and 15 per cent from the weight of chassis components.

The company also claims that continued development of the rotary engine is part of its weight-saving approach, although these potential savings need to be considered against the engine's poor fuel efficiency.

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Comments
3

18 September 2008

Much as I hate Mazda and all Japanese cars, I do applaud them for their weight saving scheme. They just shouldn't have let their cars get so heavy in the first place.

However, I deride them for their continued use of the ridiculous rotary engine.

Such a contraption has no place in a modern car and should be consigned to the "daft idea from the 60s" bin.

18 September 2008

[quote macaroni]

Much as I hate Mazda and all Japanese cars, I do applaud them for their weight saving scheme. They just shouldn't have let their cars get so heavy in the first place.

However, I deride them for their continued use of the ridiculous rotary engine.

Such a contraption has no place in a modern car and should be consigned to the "daft idea from the 60s" bin.

[/quote]

Oh dear, hate is such a strong word. Perhaps when manufacturers of different origins finally start to top customer satisfaction surveys consistently all over the world, you will be less bitter.

Anyhow, I like the fact that Mazda dare to break the mould with the rotary engine, and offer the buying public the choice of something so different, and appealing in its own way. I'm not in the market for one, but I appreciate the fact the option is available to me!

19 September 2008

[quote macaroni]

However, I deride them for their continued use of the ridiculous rotary engine.

Such a contraption has no place in a modern car and should be consigned to the "daft idea from the 60s" bin.

[/quote]

Had the rotary engine been given the benefit of the development of a normal four stroke engine, then it would be interesting to see how much more advanced it would be. It certainly isn't a silly idea, and in many respects is technically much better than a "standard" engine.

I also have to applaud Mazda for their persistence with this engine and I for one am glad to see it still exists.

As for "hating" Japanese cars, I would suggest that this is a some what blinkered view of the vehicles. If you "hate" Japanese cars then I would suggest you "hate" all cars. With out them, many of the advances in reliability and build quality would not be evident in todays western cars.

You are completely correct in saying that cars should not have got as heavy as they have done but I would suggest this has been driven by the German and American makers (as well as legislation), and certainly not the Japanese.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

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