Mazda sets out plans for a "green" fleet revolution
Whilst other carmakers focus on hybrid and alternative fuel solutions, Mazda has said that its short-term focus is to significantly improve efficiencies delivered through a traditional internal combustion engine platform. This will utilise improved aerodynamics, retuned powertrains, a concerted focus on reducing vehicle weight and the gradual introduction of sophisticated new technologies such as i-stop (Smart Idling Stop System) to deliver first-class environmental and MPG performance for all Mazda vehicles.
This approach will be dubbed the SKYTECH programme and will be available to fleets in less than two years, benefiting fleet decision-makers and company car drivers alike in terms of vehicle operating costs, reduced fuel bills and savings in vehicle-related taxes.
In fact, Mazda says it has already embarked on its "green" crusade with today's key fleet models such as the Mazda3 and Mazda6 reflecting the environmental strategy. For example, CO2 levels on the Mazda3 are at 119g/km on 1.6D models and at sub-150g/km on the Mazda6 2.2D.
Mazda fleet and remarketing director Peter Allibon said: 'Our existing customers are already benefiting from the first phase of our environmental strategy.
'The first vehicles from the SKYTECH programme we expect to start reaching fleets in 2012. The indications are that the emission levels on some Mazda C/D segment models will drop below 105g/km, while all models will be below 120g/km.
'While Mazda is working behind the scenes on technological alternatives to petrol and diesel engines with research and development on hydrogen vehicles continuing apace, we expect that the internal combustion engine will remain the dominant and economic choice for fleets and company car drivers into the foreseeable future.'
The third strand of Mazda's "green" revolution features the introduction of a new six-speed automatic transmission that will deliver a further 5% fuel economy improvement to models compared with the current five-speed transmission.
Mr Allibon added: 'The focus that our engineers have on improving the environmental performance of Mazda models means that I anticipate that we and our existing customers will be business partners for many years to come.'