The FINANCIAL — Mazda Motor Corporation has released an updated Mazda Axela sports compact (known as Mazda3 outside Japan), which goes on sale at dealers in Japan today.*1 The updated model is now available with two clean diesel engines, as the SKYACTIV-D 1.5 joins the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 in the powertrain lineup.
Mazda’s new-generation lineup, which is designed to offer Jinba-ittai driving performance and an ideal driving position, got its start with the launch of the CX-5 in 2012. These products have been developed based on a human-centered development philosophy grounded in research into human traits and sensations in order to ensure a pleasing driving feel, according to Mazda.
The updated Axela features G-Vectoring Control, the first in a series of new SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS technologies that provide integrated control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body to enhance the car’s Jinba-ittai feel. Natural Sound Frequency Control, another new technology featured on the updated Axela, reduces diesel knock in the SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine for a more pleasant engine sound. Refinements have been made in every area based on Mazda’s human-centered development philosophy.
“Mazda is striving to become an irreplaceable presence in the lives of our customers, to create a special bond with them and to be a ‘one-and-only’ brand they will choose again and again,” said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s President and CEO. “In order to do that, we will continue updating our models with next-generation technologies based on our human-centered development philosophy, without concern for the timing of redesigns. We believe clean diesel engines will continue to be an important environmental technology, and we will work to further popularize them in Japan and around the world.”
Overview of the updated Mazda Axela
Dynamic performance provides responsive Jinba-ittai driving;
Launch of G-Vectoring Control*2, first technology in the SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS series;
GVC is a control technology that varies engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to provide integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces. It optimizes the vertical load on each wheel to make the motion of the vehicle smoother, more natural and in tune with bodily sensations.
This technology provides more effective control in every situation from everyday driving to collision avoidance maneuvers, offering driver confidence and peace of mind. It is particularly effective improving handling on roads slippery from rain or snow.
Changes in acceleration forces that act on vehicle occupants are smoother, making for a more comfortable ride with less torso sway.
High-precision DE boost control*3 for enhanced Jinba-ittai feel with SKYACTIV-D engines;
By optimizing boost control and making more precise fuel injection possible, engine torque response is controlled more precisely.
Offers enhanced accelerator responsiveness even in light-load conditions, when the response may be slightly delayed, so the driver feels more in tune with the car.
Diesel knock reduced with SKYACTIV-D for a more pleasant engine sound;
Mazda focused on the relationship between pressure waves (vibrations) resulting from engine combustion, the cause of engine knock, and the resonant frequency of parts (structural resonance) to offer a quieter ride, especially in the louder frequency bands. This technology is standard equipment.*3
Natural Sound Smoother;
A damper incorporated into the piston pin reduces knock at around 3.6 kHz, which is caused by vibration of the pistons and connecting rods upon combustion.
Natural Sound Frequency Control;
Mazda found that knock increases around 1.3 kHz, 1.7 kHz and 2.5 kHz because peak engine vibration and peak structural vibration coincide. By controlling fuel injection timing to within 0.1 millisecond, engine vibration is used to cancel out structural vibration, thereby reducing knock.
Vehicles with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 engine are now available with i-ACTIV AWD, a new-generation all-wheel-drive system that provides optimal distribution of torque to front and rear wheels by anticipating road conditions, weather and the driver’s intentions.
The SKYACTIV-D 1.5 has been added to the engine line-up.
Enhanced human-machine interface based on human-centered design;
Enhanced Active Driving Display*4 minimizes need to take your eyes off the road;
Information on the driving environment is displayed in the top half and information on the vehicle below, reducing confusion.
Upgraded to full color with higher brightness, definition and contrast, the display is easier to read.
Equipment designed to help achieve an ideal driving position
In addition to multiple positions with the 10-way power seat, the seat memory function*5 can now save the angle, brightness and content settings of the Active Driving Display, allowing drivers to find the ideal driving position quickly.
A new steering wheel offers an ergonomic grip with a good feel at every position. The driver’s intentions are accurately transmitted to the vehicle, and feedback on road and tire conditions is accurately conveyed to the driver.
Based on the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, i-ACTIVSENSE technologies support safe driving;
Hazard detection technology
Mazda’s first Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR)*6 helps prevent overlooking of speed limit signs;
A forward-sensing camera picks up speed limit signs and the speed limit is shown on the active driving display.
A flashing light on the display tells the driver when the speed limit has been exceeded. A buzzer can also be set to sound.
Also detects “no entry” and stop signs.
Adaptive LED Headlights*4 for enhanced night vision;
Glare-free High Beams;
High beams are divided into four LED blocks laid out horizontally, each of which can be turned on or off individually.
When driving with high beams, the headlights of oncoming vehicles or tail lights of vehicles ahead are detected and the appropriate block of LEDs is turned off.
Offers the superior visibility of high beams without blinding drivers in oncoming vehicles.
Operates at speeds of 40km/h or higher.
Wide-range low beams;
At speeds of 40km/h or lower, areas to the sides that were not illuminated with conventional low beams are illuminated and vision at intersections is enhanced.
At speeds of 95km/h or more the aim of the head lamps is raised automatically allowing the driver to see for greater distances.
Collision avoidance and damage mitigation;
Advanced Smart City Brake Support*7 to reduce damage from collisions;
The near infrared laser sensor used with SCBS F has now been changed to a forward-sensing camera.
The system can now detect pedestrians as well as vehicles.
The range of speeds at which vehicles are detected has been expanded from 4 – 30km/h to 4 – 80km/h. Pedestrians can be detected at 10 – 80km/h.
Exterior design reflects a mature sense of composure and elegance;
A focus on the car’s physique emphasizes its horizontal form to impart a greater sense of width along with a strong fore-aft axis.
The car’s wide, low stance is highlighted, and its dignified proportions convey a mature sense of composure.
Developed to express the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision, Machine Gray Premium Metallic achieves both high-contrast shadows and a high-density finish to give a realistic metallic feel. Nine colors are available including the new Eternal Blue Mica and Sonic Silver Metallic as well as Soul Red Premium Metallic, which represents KODO design.
Sporty, high-quality interior design;
Individual components have been refined to achieve a higher level of quality for a sporty yet composed and dignified interior environment.
The sense of breadth and of fore-aft speed is accentuated by visually strengthening the left-right spread from the center of the dashboard and its connection to the door trim on each side.
Models with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 engine feature an electric parking brake and a high-quality, clean console design. The dignified look of the interior conveys a mature sense of composure.