Mazda will launch a new petrol-powered 2 supermini that will be capable of almost 80mpg without any electrical assistance, which would make it the most fuel efficient car of its kind.
The Mazda 2 will be equipped with Mazda's Skyactiv engine and transmission and is set for launch in Japan in the first half of 2011.
Mazda's new Skyactiv-G petrol engine has a compression ratio of 14:1, higher than anything used before in a production petrol-powered vehicle. The engine uses 15 per cent less fuel than its previous power trains, the company claims. When launched in the 2 next year, the car will return 78mpg.
Its Skyactiv-D diesel engine also sets a new record for the lowest compression ratio of a production diesel engine ever, just 14:1, increasing fuel economy by 20 per cent, according to Mazda.
New transmissions have also been developed to ensure enhanced efficiency. Mazda's Skyactiv-Drive automatic improves fuel economy by up to seven per cent and its light-weight Skyactiv-MT manual reduces internal friction for improved figures.
Body and chassis also fall under the Skyactiv umbrella: all future Mazdas will be around eight per cent lighter and 30 per cent stiffer than than the models they will replace thanks to high-tensile steels and optimised bounding materials.
As reported by Autocar at the end of August, Seita Kanai, Mazda's R&D supremo, says the new corporate platform and engines are legislatively future-proofed for a decade.