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2012 Mazda 3 With Skyactiv Technology: The End Of Cars As We Know Them?

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On: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 2:49PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Mazda 3 With Skyactiv Technology: The End Of Cars As We Know Them?

Skyactiv Technology. When I first heard the term, I immediately thought that Google had finally invented the modern-day version of Skynet and we were all going to be privy to the short-term benefits of artificial intelligence... That is until it realized we were too dangerous to be in charge of our own lives and tried to take over the world. Upon further investigation, that is apparently not what Skyactiv technology is. Nope, as it turns out Skyactiv is just kind of an umbrella marketing term that doesn't actually describe too much about the 2012 Mazda 3. Make no mistake either, it's not 'Mazda 3 Skyactiv' or 'Skyactiv Mazda 3', no, it's just Mazda 3 with Skyactiv technology.  

So what exactly is this Skyactiv stuff? Well, strangely enough this quirky term actually refers not to some gimmicky tunes-itself-to-a-station-it-likes radio junk, but to advancements in engine technology. The 2.0-liter four cylinder in the new Mazda 3 is quite the phenom. Although it looks tiny, this mighty-mini-motor uses direct-injection and has a mind-blowing 12:1 compression ratio -- a number that only race motors were running not too many years ago. Both horsepower and torque have gone up from last year, though not to racecar numbers at 155 ponies and 148 lb.-ft., because both low and mid-range torque numbers are up too combine with the fact that the 3 only weighs in at 2,872 pounds, the Mazda 3 feels extremely quick and nimble through the corners and off the line.

The bigger news is that thanks to the aforementioned direct-injection, as well as variable valve timing, and perhaps some magic fairy dust, the Mazda Three has been able to up its power numbers and yet fuel economy has gone up by more than twenty percent to get an amazing 28 city/40 highway mpg. A choice of transmissions is still pretty much the same, nothing Skyactiv-esq here, either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto -- both of which do a good job of communicating what is going on back to the driver.

The Mazda 3 with Skyactiv is a driver's car for sure. It's not quite the pocket-rocket that the Mazda Speed3 is, but for the potential owner who wants some fun during his or her commute, the 3 with Skyactiv might just be the perfect car. At a base price of $19,245 the Skyactiv option does come at a three grand premium over the base 3, but there is no question that the Skyactiv option package is well worth the extra cash.

The big question is just how long will the Skyactiv package be a legitimate option package over at Mazda? With the advent of hybrid everything, and further advancements in fuel economy, soon the excellent numbers the Skyactiv option puts down will become mundane, and maybe even substandard. But until then, the Skyactiv package is something that we are glad to report is not in fact, the end of world, but instead perhaps, the beginning of some great new technology over at Mazda.

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Stephy21 | 9:21AM (Fri, Dec 16, 2011)

Very cool,i cant wait to see this new technology.

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