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Mazda3 2.0 Sport introduces ‘i-stop’ technology

Mazda
Posted by Nikolai Kalenski on 01 July 2009

On sale since 18 May, the all-new Mazda3 range incorporates a distinctively fresh bodystyle that portrays a more powerful and emotional design, plus a richer expression and a more dynamic stance.  Now the 20-model line up is completed by the arrival of two Mazda3 2.0 Sport models (hatchback and saloon, priced from £18,025 OTR), featuring 151ps petrol engines and innovative ‘i-stop' (Smart Idling Stop System) fuel-stretching technology.  The system, which automatically switches off the engine, on engaging neutral, whenever the car is stationary (or travelling below 2mph) for more than a few seconds and restarts the engine when the driver simply depresses the clutch, delivers significant fuel-saving benefits for retail and fleet customers – without distracting from this model's truly sporty driving experience.

"The all-new Mazda3 2.0 Sport with our exciting ‘i-stop' technology uniquely delivers both performance and cost savings to fleets, company car and individual drivers," comments Peter Allibon, Mazda Fleet and Remarketing Director.  "In recent times, a 2.0 Sport petrol model may not have been the obvious first choice for a city-bound company car driver.  However, the introduction of our highly efficient i-stop technology means that our latest model may change all that.  The new Mazda3 2.0 Sport with i-stop will be the right choice for city drivers who still want to experience power and performance from their company car out on the open roads.

"Indeed, the Mazda3 2.0 Sport with i-stop makes cost-effective performance driving accessible to a totally new group of drivers.  The revised DISI engine is remarkably sophisticated with sequential valve timing and a variable induction system to ensure powerful torque throughout the rev range.  For employees who regularly experience stop-start motoring in urban environments, our fuel-sipping i-stop technology mated to this 2.0 engine is the sensible money-saving choice," adds Allibon.

Fitted with Mazda's i-stop technology, the new Mazda3 2.0 Sport delivers 16 percent fuel economy savings (mpg, combined cycle) over the outgoing model, with CO2 emissions reduced up to 19 percent.  Drivers whose mileage is predominantly city-based can achieve even greater fuel-savings and the model's official CO2 rating (159g/km) falls below the benchmark 160 g/km capital allowance tax threshold, thereby enabling companies to maximise corporate tax savings following April's changes to the system.

"The new Mazda3 2.0 i-stop falls into the 19 percent benefit-in-kind tax bracket in 2009/10 and with capital allowance benefits and first-class fuel economy the model represents the cost-effective choice for fleets and user-chooser company car drivers alike.  With i-stop helping to ensure CO2 emissions are below 160g/km, it's great news for fleet drivers," concluded Allibon.

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Mazda's i-stop (Smart Idling Stop System) technology

The unique Mazda system, combining i-stop technology with the MZR 2.0 DISI direct-injection petrol engine, uses combustion energy to restart the engine quickly with only a little help from the starter motor in certain situations and without using much fuel.  To accomplish this, the positioning of the pistons and crankshaft, valve opening and direct petrol injection are precisely tuned with one another.  Unlike other stop-start systems, Mazda i-stop effectively ‘pauses' the engine, rather than stopping it, so it is poised on ‘stand-by' for a rapid restart in just 0.35 seconds.  This is made possible by the storage of the combusted fuel mix, which is ready to be ignited as soon as the driver depresses the clutch.

Assistance from the electric starter motor is only required at the very beginning of restart.  Initial ignition combined with an impulse to the crankshaft is able to restart the engine in an extremely smooth and fuel-efficient way – twice as fast as conventional start-stop systems.

In adopting this unique approach to restart, in addition to being quicker than conventional start-stop systems i-stop also adds to a feel of quality in having a minimal impact on both noise and vibration levels.

The i-stop system is activated when the car is started – although there is a ‘deactivate' switch on the dashboard.  The fully automatic system is non-intrusive and not noticeable when driving after initial start-up.  Only when the vehicle first comes to a standstill and the driver depresses the clutch to engage neutral, does the engine shut down automatically.  A green indicator lamp in the instrument cluster shows that the start-stop system has initiated engine cut-off as planned.  When the car is stationary, no fuel is used.  To continue driving, the driver depresses the clutch and the engine starts up again automatically.

A unique solution developed solely by Mazda, i-stop capitalises on the advantages of direct-injection technology to restart the engine after stopping.  Once the all-new Mazda3 comes to a halt, the engine's control module does not cut off the engine until the cylinder air volume of the compression-stroke and the expansion-stroke pistons are equal – putting the engine in an ideal restart position.  One cylinder remains in the combustion-stroke position and the restart process begins when fuel is injected directly into this cylinder, atomised then ignited, which causes the piston to move down.  At the same moment, the starter motor applies a small amount of additional momentum to the crankshaft.  Both these events together initiate an extremely quick restart of the engine.

To ensure reliable electric energy supply at all times, particularly during engine shut-off and restart, the Mazda3 2.0 i-stop has two batteries.  The main battery delivers the general energy supply, while the sub battery is used exclusively for starting the engine.  When i-stop shuts off the engine, illumination, the audio system and all other electric systems continue to work.  Even the climate control is still operating as usual – as long as the driver does not require the full cooling capability of the system – i-stop being clever enough to recognise comfort being more beneficial than engine shut-down.  In this case i-stop recognizes the need to restart the engine and reduces power to the air-conditioning momentarily as appropriate.  The function of all systems is not interrupted during engine restart.

The i-stop system does not initiate engine cut-off during the warm-up phase, helping the exhaust-gas treatment system to reach its optimal operating temperature quickly and to minimize emissions.  Similarly, if the car is on a hill with a grade of more than 14 percent, the engine continues to run for safety reasons.

New Mazda3 2.0 Sport

  • New MZR 2.0 DISI1 petrol engine with direct injection produces 151ps at 6,200rpm
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Acceleration to 62mph in 10.4 sec, top speed 128/132mph (hatchback/saloon)
  • ‘i-stop' world's only start-stop system using combustion energy for restart
  • Restarts in just 0.35 seconds, twice as fast as conventional start-stop systems
  • Sophisticated engine management ensures reliability and easy functionality
  • Fuel economy improved by up to 16 percent, CO2 emissions reduced by up to 19 percent
  • 41.5mpg (combined cycle) with 159g/km CO2 rating, meets Euro Stage V
  • New Single Nano-Technology Catalyst for excellent longterm exhaust treatment

Exterior

  • Choice of hatchback and saloon body styles with Sports Styling Kit
  • Expressive design endows new Mazda3 with a confident road presence
  • Flowing roof line gives four-door saloon an elegant, coupe-like personality
  • Hatchback is 4,490mm long, saloon 4,580mm long, both are 1,470mm high

Interior

  • Driver-oriented cockpit underscores the sporty character
  • Sportscar ergonomics – using gear lever and steering wheel is intuitive and rewarding
  • New 5-stage heated front bucket-type seats give excellent side support
  • BOSE® premium surround-sound audio system and Bluetooth® interface for telephone and MP3 player connection

Chassis and Safety

  • Newly-developed MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension systems
  • ‘Precise feel' speed-sensitive electro hydraulic power steering
  • Front, side and curtain airbags are standard
  • Safety-boosting Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and traction control (TCS) as standard
  • New Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS) as standard

Enhanced NVH refinement, plus generous equipment and safety kit

"The all-new Mazda3 brings the sophistication, style, technology and refinement of the Mazda6 to the compact family car market.  And it is going to be even more popular than its best-selling predecessor," comments Mark Cameron, Sales & Marketing Director Mazda Motors UK.  "The new 2.0 Sport model joins a line-up that is improved visually, technically and in terms of comfort, with an even more generous specification at each equipment level – while continuing to deliver excellent value for money."

All-new Mazda3's bold shape has lowered aerodynamic drag to a class-leading Cd 0.28 (saloon) and 0.30 (hatchback) – the improved aerodynamics and retuned powertrains resulting in significant reductions in both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption across the range.

Significant improvements to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have been achieved thanks to meticulous changes to the shape of the engine intake system and enhanced rigidity of the front subframe.  Cabin noise is reduced by 6-11 percent and tuning improvements to engine characteristics deliver engine notes that match premium C-segment competitors.

Exterior The 2.0 Sport ‘i-stop' model shares the generous specification of other Mazda3 Sport models.  It features a Sports Styling Kit – including new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and large rear spoiler – plus 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, front fog lights and LED rear lights.

The new Mazda3 2.0 Sport is available in a choice of eight body colours – including metallic or mica finishes at no extra cost.  One new metallic (Aluminium Silver Metallic) and four new Mica colours (Celestial Blue Mica, Graphite Mica, Indigo Lights Mica and Velocity Red Mica) are available, plus Black Mica, Crystal White Pearlescent and Arctic White (solid).

Interior Highlights of the Mazda3 2.0 Sport's comfort & convenience features include dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, electric windows with global closure, enhanced ‘welcome mode' lighting, auto ‘sensing' lights and wipers, a heated windscreen, cruise control, Bluetooth® technology, smart keyless entry and a push button engine start.

Inside, this new model is equipped with 5-stage heated front bucket-type seats, height and lumbar adjustable driver's seat, leather steering wheel with audio controls, a premium BOSE® audio system with 10 speakers, 6-CD auto changer and Black sports trim.

A new Multi Information Display (MID) is standard across the range and an integrated satellite navigation system is standard on the 2.0 Sport.  This new system was developed especially for this Mazda model.  It uses a high-resolution 11 cm (4.1 inch) screen mounted in the dashboard's upper section, where it can be seen easily, and it can be operated using a control on the steering wheel.  The system's navigational information comes from compact SD cards, and it was optimised using Mazda HMI techniques to be easy to use and view.

Safety Safety is paramount on new Mazda3 models, so Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), TCS (Traction Control System), six airbags and an Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS) System are standard on all versions.  This new ESS system automatically activates the hazard warning lights at cruising speeds when the ABS sensors detect emergency braking.  The system automatically cancels the emergency signal when either the demand for ABS relaxes or when the brake pedal is released.

1 DISI = Direct-injection spark ignition

STANDARD EQUIPMENT Mazda3 2.0 Sport (saloon & hatchback)

Technical

  • 2.0-litre DISI petrol engine with 151ps at 6,200rpm and 191Nm at 4,500rpm output
  • i-stop (Smart Idling Stop System) fuel-saving technology
  • 6-speed manual transmission

Safety & Security

  • All-disc braking system with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) with Emergency Brake Assist
  • DSC (Dynamic Stability Control)
  • TCS (Traction Control System)
  • Driver & passenger front airbags, front side & curtain airbags
  • Active front seat head restraints
  • Adaptive Brake Lights
  • Dusk-sensing auto lights & Rain-sensing auto wipers
  • Autodimming rear view mirror
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load-limiters
  • Thatcham Category 1 anti-theft alarm and engine immobiliser

Exterior

  • Sports Styling Kit (including front and rear sports bumpers, side skirts and large rear spoiler)
  • 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/50 R17 tyres
  • Front fog lights
  • LED rear lights
  • Sports exhaust system
  • Body-coloured bumpers, door handles and door mirror housings
  • Tinted windscreen and tinted glass
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Electric folding door mirrors
  • Metallic paint (foc)

Comfort & Convenience

  • Dual zone climate control air conditioning
  • Remote central locking with dead locks
  • Smart entry with push button start
  • Electric front and rear windows, with global closure
  • One-touch auto down (driver's side only)
  • Remote release fuel filler flap
  • Remote boot release
  • Enhanced Welcome Mode Lighting
  • Bluetooth® technology
  • Heated windscreen
  • Cruise control
  • Satellite navigation system

Interior

  • Black sports trim
  • 5-stage heated front bucket-type seats
  • Leather steering wheel with audio controls, leather gear knob and handbrake lever
  • Multi-information display
  • Trip computer
  • Blackout meters in instrument cluster
  • Height & reach-adjustable steering wheel with audio controls
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Lumbar adjustable driver's seat
  • Front centre console with armrest, storage and cup holders
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Premium BOSE® audio system with 10 speakers
  • 6-CD auto changer
  • Auxiliary (AUX) input jack for connecting MP3 players
  • Rear central armrest with 2 cupholders
  • Lockable glovebox
  • Twin sun visors

All-new Mazda3 2.0 Sport / Performance & Economy

4-door 0-62mph(sec) Top speed (mph) Combined(mpg) Urban (mpg) Extra-Urban(mpg)
2.0 Sport 10.4 132 41.5 30.4 52.3
5-door
2.0 Sport 10.4 128 41.5 30.4 52.3

All-new Mazda3 2.0 Sport / Price List – July 2009

4-door Power(ps) 'On the road' Retail Emissions CO2 (g/km) Road Fund Licence Band Insurance Group
2.0 Sport 151 £18,025 159 G 9E
5-door
2.0 Sport 151 £18,025 159 G 9E