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A cruise down South with new diesel-powered Mazda 6, CX-5

A cruise down South with new diesel-powered Mazda 6, CX-5
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Berjaya Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country, officially announced the local availability of the diesel variants of its Mazda6 and CX-5.

Equipped with Mazda’s SkyActiv-D, Mazda’s cutting-edge diesel technology, the two new diesel-powered models both come with a P1,985,000 price tag. The two Mazda vehicles pack a 2.2L two-stage turbocharged engine that generates 173hp and 420Nm.

The SkyActiv-D engine has the world’ s lowest compression ratio for a diesel engine at 14:1, resulting in a more powerful torque, better fuel economy, less weight, and cleaner emissions.

Speed got the chance to experience the two new SkyActiv-D vehicles during Mazda’s SkyActiv-Discovery Ride and Drive held last April 27 to 28, after a media briefing on Mazda’s latest vehicle technology at Mazda Makati.

Berjaya Auto Philippines President Steven Tan led the opening program and the grand unveiling of the Mazda CX-5 2.2L SkyActiv-D AWD and Mazda6 Sedan 2.2L SkyActiv-D in front of an enthused crowd of motoring journalists.

Chiaki Santo of Powertrain Planning Development from Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan gave the technical overview of the new SkyActiv-D technology prior flag- off.

SkyActiv-D: Low compression ratio, high efficiency

Mazda downplayed the notions that the SkyActiv-D engine compromises the car’s performance. In fact, the car manufacturer claims it even enhances the vehicle’s efficiency.

First, the integration of a lower compression ratio allowed Mazda to use lighter components on the SkyActiv-D engine such an aluminum block engine and lighter cylinder heads, pistons, and crankshafts, reducing overall weight by 10 percent. This resulted in a decrease in front-end weight, pushing the engine to work more proficiently.

The lower compression ratio also delays the combustion process by half a millisecond. This mechanism lets air and fuel mix more thoroughly, reducing emission of pollutants, which makes for a cleaner combustion process. Furthermore, SkyActiv-D technology gets rid of costly exhaust after-treatment systems otherwise found in CRDi engines. Removing such system contributs to the reduction of harmful Nitrous Oxide and soot emissions.

While lowering compression ratio could decrease compression temperature and pressure at the Top Dead Center (TDC), Mazda addressed the issue by optimizing the injection and combustion closer to the TDC. Mazda also integrated multi-hole Piezo fuel injectors on the SkyActiv-D to ensure cold-start capability,

Finally, to prevent knock at cold temperatures, Mazda equipped the SkyActv-D engine with a patented variable valve lift (VVL) system on the exhaust side, allowing the engine to re-channel hot exhaust gases back into the combustion chamber. This increases air temperature and pressure, warms up the engine faster, and stabilizes the ignition.

Mazda Ride and Drive: A cruise down south

After the brief program, members of the press finally trooped to the new vehicles and got their respective car assignments. Speed was first assigned on a Mazda6 together with two other media friends. Taking the vehicle down the highways of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the group noticed the Mazda6’s silent engine, to which fellow riders quipped was “parang gasoline (like a gasoline-powered vehicle).”

Despite the subtle engine, stretching and slicing along Manila traffic bound for SLEX was a breeze for the Mazda6. The car displayed superior handling and a commanding torque. Its speed was put to the test once the team entered SLEX, where the Mazda6 accelerated rapidly and smoothly.

The rest of the morning was a fluid ride all the way to Batangas with only occasional stops to regroup the convoy. By noon, the group had arrived at the Discovery Bay Resort in Anilao.

Lunch was followed by a photo shoot session with the car up the scenic view of Gulugod Baboy in Batangas. The uphill and downhill terrain tested the climbing abilities of the Mazda6 and CX-5, and both vehicles stood their ground.

The photo shoot ended just before sundown; the night was filled with restless heads, looking forward to the next day’s thrilling ride back home on another vehicle.

On the road bound for Manila, Speed got the chance to get behind the wheel of the Mazda CX-5. Climbing up to Tagaytay was a smooth ride thanks to the CX-5’s superior engine. The powerful torque made catching up with other vehicles an easy feat with just a light press on the accelerator. 

After a stopover lunch at Balay Dako in Tagaytay, we made our way back to Mazda Makati and called it a day.

Words and photos Antonio Jose Galauran

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