Sunday, November 3, 2013
Mazda PHL Launches CX-5 2.0 Pro
Mazda’s goal of establishing an all-SKYACTIV lineup in the country takes another step closer to fruition with the Philippine launch of the Mazda CX-5 Pro. The award-winning CX-5 model has been the Japanese carmaker’s best-selling nameplate on the local market since its 2012 launch. Now, this new midlevel variant, which slots in between the CX-5 FWD and the CX-5 AWD Sport, provides crossover buyers another compelling reason to pick Mazda’s entry in the segment by pairing the lower-displacement SKYACTIV-G engine with the i-STOP idling system.
“While the CX-5 Pro has the same 2.0-liter engine (155PS at 6,000rpm, 200Nm at 4,000rpm) as the entry-level CX-5 and is also driven by the front wheels, it adds the i-STOP system to its list of features,” explains Steven Tan, president of Berjaya Auto Philippines, Inc., the official distributor of Mazda in the country. “We have noted that in the Philippines, many SUVs are predominantly city mainstays, and that means they spend a lot of time sitting in gridlock. The addition of i-STOP will thus further add to the regular FWD variant’s already impressive range.”
SKYACTIV Technology: A Comprehensive Approach
Mazda’s revolutionary vehicle design and production strategy encompasses the engine, the transmission, the body and the chassis. All these key SKYACTIV components work together toward a single goal: fuel economy that does not come at the expense of driving performance.
The CX-5 Pro’s 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine makes use of innovations like a high 13:1 compression ratio, a 4-2-1 exhaust layout, gasoline direct-injection, and continuously variable sequential valve timing (dual S-VT) on the intake and exhaust to minimize weight by 10% and reduce engine friction by 30% compared to Mazda’s non-SKYACTIV engines. On the road, these improvements translate to 15% lower fuel
consumption and CO2 emissions, and 15% more torque at low and midrange revs, even with the use of regular 91- to 93-octane unleaded fuel.
The engine is paired with the SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed transmission, which takes the strengths of conventional manual, automatic and dual-clutch systems and puts them together in one responsive and efficient unit. Central to its operation is a Full Range Direct Drive clutch mechanism that enables an early lock-up between the engine and the transmission. Through this, gear changes happen more instantaneously, whether changing up during steady acceleration or swapping down for sudden bursts of speed.
To complete the equation, the SKYACTIV-Body and the SKYACTIV-Chassis combine lightweight materials with rigid construction to maximize the powertrain’s efficiency and performance. The resulting structure, which is chiefly high-tensile steel and weighs only 1,451kg, has achieved exceptional scores in stringent crash tests, but does not carry substantial weight penalties that hinder driving dynamics and add to fuel consumption.
The i-STOP System: A Must in the City
Initially, Mazda’s clever idling function was available in the CX-5 line only with the 2.5-liter AWD Sport variant. It is now a key feature of the CX-5 Pro to meet the demand for daily-driven SUVs that mostly see urban use.
This version of the start/stop system does not rely on the starter motor to re-ignite the engine. Instead, i-STOP uses the “combustion start method,” which has a quicker response and less energy usage. When the system cuts off the engine, it ensures that the pistons are stopped at the optimum position, with the correct balance of air volumes, for sequential ignition. The initial cylinder in the sequence is then identified, so when it is time for the vehicle to set off again, fuel is injected directly into that cylinder to initiate combustion and fire up the engine.
In real-world driving conditions, i-STOP makes sense because shutting off the engine in gridlock saves fuel that would have otherwise been burned unnecessarily while the car is idling. And since the engine restart takes only 0.35 seconds, there are no delays for the driver when continuing on from a full stop. The fuel-economy gains from i-STOP are estimated at 8%.
Enhanced Specification: Premium and Functional
The CX-5 Pro embraces its city-dweller nature with a host of features that improve form and functionality. Outside, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/65 tires guarantee a stable and comfortable ride over road imperfections. Halogen headlamps effectively illuminate the road ahead, while turn-signal indicators on the power-folding, body-color side mirror covers promote the car’s visibility to other drivers.
Inside, leather seats turn the generously proportioned cabin into a plush and restful environment. The six-speaker multimedia system presents different gadget-connectivity options via aux-in, USB and Bluetooth voice control, while a rear-view camera aids in parking. For safety, six airbags are spread throughout the passenger area, and dynamic stability and traction control systems are ready to step in during emergency situations.
“The local market’s response to our SKYACTIV models has been very encouraging,” Tan says. “We believe the new Mazda CX-5 Pro will cater to the needs of even more consumers, especially those looking for a sporty, versatile and economical crossover. We also believe that aside from this vehicle’s stylish design, superior engineering, exceptional build quality, and premium features, its i-STOP function will give it an edge over the competitor entries in its segment.”
The Mazda CX-5 Pro is priced at P1,455,00.00 and will be available for delivery starting October 2013. For test drives and bookings, visit any of Mazda’s 14 dealerships across the Philippines: Mazda Greenhills (along EDSA), Mazda Pasig (along C5), Mazda Quezon Avenue, Mazda Makati (on Pasong Tamo Extension), and Mazda Alabang in Metro Manila, as well as provincial dealerships in Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan (Dagupan), Nueva Ecija (Cabanatuan), Cavite, Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro.