By Jennifer Geiger on April 2, 2012
It looks like a diesel powertrain is in Mazda's near future. The automaker is showing its first SkyActiv diesel concept in New York. The Takeri is an aggressively styled coupe-like sedan that uses a variety of new fuel-saving technologies, some of which the automaker expects to roll out into production vehicles.
The swoopy midsize sedan rides on 20-inch satin-chrome wheels and uses what Mazda calls its Kodo ("Soul of Motion") design theme. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 was the first production vehicle to use Kodo cues, including the updated five-point grille and more sculpted body lines. "The sharp features of Takeri also could undoubtedly make their way into a future production vehicle," Mazda said in a statement. Its satin-chrome accents are carried over inside, lining the instrument panel. The cabin also features bolstered seats in Ceramic White leather.
Under the hood is a 2.2-liter diesel engine, part of the company's SkyActiv-branded powertrains. It joins other new fuel-tech equipment like a start/stop system that Mazda calls i-stop and a regenerative braking system dubbed i-ELOOP. With the former, the concept can be restarted in four-tenths of a second, which Mazda says is the world's fastest diesel engine restart time. The latter stands for Intelligent Energy Loop and is a capacitor-based regenerative braking system. The kinetic energy captured while braking is stored in a capacitor instead of in the battery; it's then used to power the vehicle's electrical equipment. Mazda says it improves fuel economy by as much as 10%.
Mazda did not confirm production plans for the Takeri, but did say that elements of the design and fuel-saving equipment will make their way into production vehicles. The i-stop system is already available in vehicles sold in Japan, Europe, Australia and New Zealand; i-ELOOP will be introduced into Mazda vehicles beginning in 2012.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer