Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mazda: new technologies for Skyactiv exchange, body and chassis

We continue our "thematic area dedicated to the technologies SkyActive Mazda: after having talked about the gasoline engine and diesel Sky G-Sky-D, we focus on new programs developed by the manufacturer and lighter on the platform on which to build new models. The new automatic SkyActiv-Drive is designed to improve fuel economy, ensure a direct response to the drive of the accelerator pedal and provide a smooth change combined with an acceleration comfortable.

The focus of this new transmission is a 6-speed torque converter with new design and a very wide range in which the clutch for connecting all six gears. The capture rate was increased from 64% of the 5-speed automatic transmission 89% while operating the vehicle. The early lock between engine and transmission through the torque converter (which enables the engine output to be sent directly to the driving wheels) feature prevents the loss of power during acceleration and also improves fuel economy.

These features have not, however, increased noise, vibration and harshness by the end of the finishing work done on the torque converter. The Skyactiv-Drive will be offered in two versions, compatible with gasoline and diesel Sky Sky-G-D. Just as the automatic transmission, the new manual will be launched in two variants to meet different requirements of the motor torque.

The objective was to reduce the weight of between 7% and 16% (depending on model) than the current manual. Characteristic of the new architecture is the 'Shaft shortened, and no separate shaft to reverse the model for the engines with higher torque. For this broadcast engineers were inspired by the Mazda MX-5 exchange: the target was to ensure her hands feeling of sportiness, precision and agility.

With a shift lever having a run of just 45 mm from the neutral position to that of gear-, the excursions of the lever are extremely short. The new manual has been given an architecture that gives a feeling of constant gear changes and lighter, with less resistance: the linkage is characterized by being moderately heavy at the beginning of a change in the relationship and gradually become lighter toward the end of his action.

As already said Mazda is strongly focused on reducing the weight: it goes without saying that the vehicles are lighter and more efficient than the most fun to drive. With the bodywork and chassis Skyactiv Mazda, rather than focusing on individual (and often expensive) materials like carbon fiber and aluminum, takes a different approach to the design of a platform by weight: a policy that goes through 'optimization structure and design of the body, the 'adoption of new production processes and replacement of materials to make vehicles lighter, stronger and safer.

The new body weighs less than 8%, while the frame on 14% less than the models currently on the market. Mazda has greatly increased the use of high-strength steels in its body: the percentage has increased from 40% to 60%. Being extremely thin but strong, high-strength steels reduce the weight of the car body while increasing strength.

To frame the main target was to combine the agility of low and medium speed with stability at high speed. To do this, the house has developed a new steering system, electrically controlled, immediate in its response to low and medium speed. Of high readiness against the steering at low speeds could take the vehicle to be overly sensitive to small changes in the steering at high speeds.

To prevent this, engineers have revised the suspension geometry: connections of the latter have been optimized as it has been improved adherence of the rear wheels, thereby reducing the yaw. E 'was increasing the incidence angle on the front wheels, which improves the self-aligning torque steering.

The power assist steering was then increased at low speed to facilitate steering and lighter weight give it the feeling that it is hoped at that speed. The rear suspension proved essential in trying to obtain the greatest possible balance between ride comfort and agility: the aim was to improve handling without stiffening the springs and dampers.

To improve the operational efficiency of the shock absorbers, the attacks have been placed in a position to allow a greater leverage ratio. The damping force and stiffness of the upper have therefore been strengthened, reducing the impact on ride comfort. The position of the attack of the swing arm rear suspension longitudinal been moved upward, thereby adjusting the direction of movement of the longitudinal control arms in order to more easily absorb shocks from impacts arising from the longitudinal road surface.

This also improves ride comfort, while avoiding the rear of the vehicle to rise. And it offers more stability under braking, which reduces the stopping distance. The frame weighs 14% less than the current version of the segment C / D However, it is even more severe. In front of the car, the middle section has been expanded and has been reduced the misalignment of the longitudinal position of attachment of the lower leg.

At the same time, the rear has been widened between the longitudinal elements of the light beam has been reduced and the misalignment of the longitudinal position of attachment of the side arm. They also eliminated the flanges welded both front and rear to improve the stiffness of the coupling welded sections.

All these measures have greatly improved the overall stiffness in a lighter frame.

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