Full Skyactiv To Debut With Mazda CX-5

By Danny King November 28, 2011

CX-5 Full Skyactiv lede.jpg

Mazda has unveiled its first Skyactiv model built from the ground up -- the CX-5 compact SUV -- as the Japanese automaker looks to use the full suite of its fuel-saving technologies to take on models, such as the segment leading Ford Escape and Honda CR-V in the competitive compact SUV market. The CX-5, which is based on the Minagi concept vehicle that made its global debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March, will follow the Mazda3 as the first company vehicles to use some Skyactiv technology in its engine. But the CX-5 will get the full Skyactiv engine treatment, and will also be the first to use fuel-saving components such as lightweight steel and other alloys in the chassis and body. Mazda didn't announce pricing of the model, which will go on sale next year.

Mazda said the front-wheel drive version of the CX-5, unveiled at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, will achieve 29 miles per gallon combined, giving the model what the company says is best-in-class fuel economy. The CX-5 has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that has the highest compression ratio of any mass-produced car and delivers 155 horsepower and 150 foot-pounds of torque. The model will be the first to have Skyactiv components in its design and chassis. The compact SUV will have a sleeker look while its body will be 61 percent high-tensile steel, giving the car more rigidity and less weight.

The Skyactiv engine boosts fuel economy relative to prior engines because of its combination of an extremely high compression ratio, weight-saving aluminum construction and components that reduce friction in the engine's valve train. The CX-5 will be among the five Skyactiv-powered models Mazda will use to help the company reach its stated goal of boosting fleetwide fuel economy by about 30 percent over the next four years. Mazda's U.S. light-duty vehicles for model year 2010 averaged 22.7 miles per gallon, fifth-worst among the 14 largest automakers and worst among Japanese automakers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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