GoAutoLogo
MENU

Future models - Mazda - Mazda5

First look: Mazda goes high 5 at Geneva

Bus route: The seven-seat Mazda5 will get a direct-injection, idle-stop engine when it goes on sale in Europe later this year.

Mazda’s new small people-mover cuts fuel by 15 per cent with latest idle-stop engine

Mazda logo21 Jan 2010

By RON HAMMERTON

MAZDA will peel the covers from its new small people-mover, the seven-seat Mazda5, at this year’s Geneva motor show on March 2.

The company says the new model uses a new 2.0-litre petrol direct-injection engine and other advances to cut C02 emissions by up to 15 per cent over the current model in Europe.

However, Mazda dismisses speculation that the new engine is its much-vaunted Sky G (G for gasoline) engine unveiled at Tokyo motor show last year.

Due in 2011, the Sky engine uses a low-friction cylinder block, direct injection, piezo injectors, advanced valve-timing technology and idle-stop to cut fuel consumption by, coincidentally, 15 per cent.

While the vehicle will not be coming to Australia – Mazda Australia washed its hands of small family buses when it dumped the slow-selling Premacy in 2003 – the technology under the skin of the third-generation Mazda5/Premacy will almost certainly make its way to this market in other future models.

These technologies include the engine idle-stop and Mazda’s new ‘Nagare Flow’ body design language.

Built on the latest generation of the Mazda3/Ford Focus C1 small-car platform, the 2010 Mazda5 is the first production car to display elements of ‘Nagare’, which has been showcased on various concept cars to date, including the Kiyora.

22 center imageMazda claims this design provides “a particularly low drag coefficient, together with optimal lift and air-flow stability characteristics”.

The smiley-face front grille treatment brings the Mazda5 into line with other contemporary Mazda models, including the 3 and 6.

In Europe, the Mazda5 will be powered by a choice of two four-cylinder petrol engines – a new direct-injection 2.0-litre and a 1.8-litre. Little was said about the latter, indicating that it may be an updated version of the current 1.8-litre MZR powerplant, which develops 85kW in Europe.

The new 2.0-litre DISI (direct injection, spark ignition) engine is said to cut CO2 emissions by 15 per cent over the engine it replaces, making the Mazda5, the company claims, one of the most frugal and clean small people-movers on the market.

The current Mazda5 sucks a combined-cycle 7.8 litres of petrol per 100km in UK manual guise, indicating the new vehicle could return 6.8L/100km.

Mazda says a six-speed manual transmission will be offered in Europe, but a six-speed automatic transmission could also be expected in the package.

There is no mention in the Mazda press release of diesel engines, but they will be offered in Europe where the current range has a choice of two 2.0-litre Euro 4-standard oil burners, producing 81kW in normally aspirated form and 105kW with turbo assistance.

Mazda’s new Sky engine armory includes Sky D (yep, for diesel) – another engine destined for Aussie Mazda showrooms at some point – but it is unclear if Mazda5 will gain those engines in the short term.

When the Sky D engine was unveiled in 2.2-litre form in Tokyo, Mazda claimed a 20 per cent economy gain, thanks to low-friction internals, a two-stage turbo, piezo-electric injectors and revised combustion chambers.

New Mazda5 functionality includes a side sliding door and flexible seven-seat interior layout, which Mazda calls ‘Karakuri’. Like the current model, the third seat row is expected to fold down for increased cargo space.

The Mazda5 – to go on sale in Europe later this year – will be one of three premieres on the Mazda stand at Geneva.

Mazda Australia public relations manager Steve Maciver told GoAuto that Mazda Australia had looked at the Mazda5 for local introduction, but decided the demand was not there.

“The customers are happy with the current range,” he said.

Mazda was one of several companies to drop small people-movers from their line-ups. The Holden Zafira, Mitsubishi Nimbus and Nissan Serena were other tried and failed examples.

Mazda Australia is warming up for two product launches in March. Also on Mazda’s launch pad is the Thai-built Mazda2 sedan, due later in the year.

Read more

Share with your friends

Mazda models