More on SKYACTIV Technology with the SKYACTIV-Drive Automatic Transmission

We recently gave you the lowdown on the new SKYACTIV engine, today, let’s discuss transmissions! In a recent post on Mazda Motor Europe, Toshiyuki Kikuchi, Program Manager in the Powertrain Development Division at Mazda provided additional details about the new automatic transmission.

Mazda SkyACTIVE-Drive Transmission

The SKYACTIV-Drive combines the benefits of conventional automatics with those offered by continuously variable (CVTs) and dual clutch transmissions. The transmission has been developed with a six speed torque converter that has a full range lock-up clutch for all six gears called “full range direct drive”. The lock-up clutch ratio has been raised from 64% at the current 5-speed to 89% during vehicle operation.

This feature inhibits the loss of power often experienced during acceleration and delivers a more controlled driving feel. On the flip side, it is said to increase the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) because there is nothing to absorb the rotational speeds of the engine transmission. Mazda has addressed this issue by adapting a new torque converter and installing a new damper to better absorb the NVH as well as a multi-disk lock-up clutch and its piston to improve clutch durability and control.

Mazda SkyACTIVE-Drive New Technologies

The new design will allow the transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, react dynamically to changes to the engine load right from low speeds, and raises the bar when it comes to fuel economy.

The new SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission promises to produce a green range of models within the next two years that will boast lower CO2 emissions and even lower fuel returns, without the need for alternative split/drive systems.

The 2012 Mazda 3 will feature the all-new SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine and a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. Mazda says the new 2.0 liter, direct-injection four-cylinder is good for 155 hp and 148 lb feet of torque, which offers modest increases over the old, non-DI 2.0-liter engine.

2012 Mazda 3

See Toshiyuki Kikuchi’s technical explanation for the SKYACTIV-Drive on YouTube:

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More on SKYACTIV Technology with the SKYACTIV-Drive Automatic Transmission
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More on SKYACTIV Technology with the SKYACTIV-Drive Automatic Transmission
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What is the Skyactiv-drive transmission? What is the automatic transmission used in the Skyactiv Mazda 3? We recently gave you the lowdown on the new SKYACTIV engine, today, let’s discuss transmissions! In a recent post on Mazda Motor Europe, Toshiyuki Kikuchi, Program Manager in the Powertrain Development Division at Mazda provided additional details about the new automatic transmission. The SKYACTIV-Drive combines the benefits of conventional automatics with those offered by continuously variable (CVTs) and dual clutch transmissions. The transmission has been developed with a six speed torque converter that has a full range lock-up clutch for all six gears called “full range direct drive”. The lock-up clutch ratio has been raised from 64% at the current 5-speed to 89% during vehicle operation
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One Reply to “More on SKYACTIV Technology with the SKYACTIV-Drive Automatic Transmission”

  1. In November I traded in my 2010 Speed3 for a new SKYACTIV 3. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I loved driving the Speed3. But, at 60,000 total miles and currently driving 100 miles some days of the week, I needed to save some gas. (I now average 35 mpg on regular fuel compared to 25 on premium. I can save almost five dollars a tank and travel an extra 120 miles.)

    While the automatic SKYACTIV does not come close to the feel of the Speed3, I think it was the best ‘fuel efficient’ car I could have bought. It is still a Mazda at heart (the interior is almost exactly the same as my Speed3), and has a lot of character for 155 hp. Sadly, though, as I start to feel the slip as I try and take that hairpin at the speed I used to, I can’t help but wonder if I made the right decision.

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