Published on July 6th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mazda3 in showrooms now from RM139,770 to RM160,638
Mazda re-wrote the rule-book on sedans and hatchbacks with the previous Mazda 2, 3 and 6 range using higher quality materials and revised engineering never before attempted in this price segment.
Now comes a brand new Mazda3 for 2019 that pushes the goal-posts closer to the European brands that have for years managed to convince segment buyers they were getting better cars at higher prices. Yes, initial reaction from Malaysians will be the asking price of RM139,770 to RM160,638 for this new Mazda3 range which is higher than the other Japanese offerings.
Why? Well, it is simple, Mazda does not need a premium sub-brand like the rest (Lexus from Toyota, Infinti from Nissan and Acura from Honda) instead Mazda wants to provide all its vehicles, from their simple little hatchback, the Mazda2 to the luxury inspired CX-9 SUV, a premium interior, engineering and final finish to match its European rivals. Bold move from this rather small volume car manufacturer but one that will pay handsomely very soon from what we have seen and felt with all its new vehicles.
Mazda strives to establish a lasting bond with customers that is based on a deep emotional connection. A car should not only be a means of getting from A to B. It ought to create a sense of oneness between car and driver that makes every interaction seem natural and intuitive. This human-centric approach found its full expression in the All-New Mazda3.
The All-New Mazda3 is artfully designed to evoke a feeling of joy and exhilaration in the driver, no matter what the circumstances are. The evolved Kodo design language adopted for the All-New Mazda3 gets rid of all superfluous elements in order to express the essence of Japanese aesthetics. The resulting sense of serenity, comfort and luxury encompasses both the car’s interior and its exterior design.
In the exterior design of both the sedan and the hatchback, finely honed elements create an elegant styling with a natural, dynamic feel. The development team took a fresh look at the cars’ respective values and worked to maximise the unique appeal of each. The hatchback presents a powerful and seductive look that evokes a sense of exciting experiences to come. In contrast, the clean, sleek and sophisticated beauty of the sedan conveys an air of maturity and refinement. As a result, the two body types exhibit personalities so distinct that they almost seem to be two different models.
THE HATCHBACK DESIGN CONCEPT: CONDENSED AND EMOTIONAL
The clean lines and unique proportions of the sporty hatchback convey a sense of anticipation and energy that creates a strong emotional appeal. Powerful C-pillars help to achieve a unique rear design in which the cabin and body appear to form a single solid mass. To achieve the car’s signature look, Mazda eliminated all character lines and relied entirely on beautifully curved body panels which reflect the surrounding environment. The dark metallic colour and bold contouring of the signature wing clearly distinguishes it from the sedan version.
THE SEDAN DESIGN CONCEPT: SLEEK AND ELEGANT
In contrast, the design of the sedan conforms to a more traditional styling by bringing together the bonnet, cabin and boot as three distinct elements. However, the All-New Mazda3 sedan aims to elevate those elements to achieve a new level of beauty. Flowing from front to rear in a single motion, the sedan’s smooth surface movements evoke simple beauty and a graceful profile. All elements at the front and rear adopt a horizontal layout that accentuates the look of a wide and low stance. Its chrome plated signature wing is a clear manifestation of quality. The combined result is a refined, mature expression of elegance.
COMMITMENT TO CRAFTSMANSHIP
Mazda’s designers, engineers and production departments worked hand in hand to bring the full beauty of Kodo design to life in the All-New Mazda3. One characteristic resulting from the dedication to craftsmanship is the distinctive surface of the body side panels. Depending on the viewing angle and on the way light hits the surface, smooth transitions in the reflections of the body panels are created. Furthermore, the All-New Mazda3 features a new low-to-the-ground front nose design, which adds greater flow and beauty to the car’s proportions. It was made possible by integrating the functions of parts at the front, thus maximising space efficiency. In addition, the panel edges around the wheel arches are fully folded back on themselves, bringing the tyres further to the outsides. The reduced gap between tyres and wheel arches highlights the car’s stylish look.
DYNAMIC LAMP DESIGN
The All-New Mazda3’s updated lamp design shaves away all unnecessary elements to leave only the essence of a light fixture. The resulting round design has an expression of depth and a dynamic presence that is unique to the Mazda brand. The All-New Mazda3 headlamps adopt a simple ring-shape lighting pattern in the centre accented by illumination on the side section. The rear combination lamps feature four round lights with gradations in their illumination that create an appearance of being directed towards the front. In addition, the three-dimensional design of the outer lenses on the hatchback creates a solid look, while the lights for the sedan are placed closer together to convey elegance.
BODY COLOUR LINE-UP
The newly developed Polymetal Grey is available exclusively on the hatchback. The colour combines bright aluminium flakes and opaque pigment, fusing the hard appearance of metal with plastic’s characteristic glossy smoothness. The colour’s tonality changes depending on the light, accentuating the hatchback’s beautiful form. The body colour line-up also includes Mazda’s two signature colours, Soul Red Crystal and Machine Grey, along with Titanium Flash, Deep Crystal Blue, Snowflake White Pearl, Arctic White, Sonic Silver and Jet Black, making a total of 9 colours available for the hatchback version and 8 colours for the sedan.
The All-New Mazda3’s interior likewise incorporates the minimalist ‘less is more’ ideal of the evolved Kodo design. All elements other than the cockpit are kept as simple as possible to give the cockpit zone added presence. To amplify the connection between car and driver, every aspect of the cockpit is laid out in perfect horizontal symmetry centred on the driver. The human-centric philosophy at the heart of every Mazda design ensures that every element of a Mazda car is conducive to the comfort and ease of the driver.
A COCKPIT THAT PURSUES A SIMPLER, MORE BEAUTIFUL DESIGN
In order to deliver a simpler, more beautiful design, the cockpit of the All-New Mazda3 features a symmetrical layout and horizontal orientation based on Mazda’s ‘less is more’ philosophy. It shaves away all unnecessary elements to realise a level of uncluttered comfort and quality not seen before. The steering wheel, three-meter cluster and air vents create perfect symmetry in the cockpit. In addition, the cockpit design places greater emphasis on the ‘vanishing point’ concept employed on the previous Mazda3. The steering wheel spoke at the six o’clock position is narrower and aims straighter down, while the right and left meters in the three-meter cluster are each angled inwards to face the driver. The centre display is also angled towards the driver and its square-edged bezel points towards the vanishing point. This design approach not only emphasises the driver-centred axis running from front to rear through the cockpit zone, but also expresses a second horizontal axis through the layout of the forms that run side to side from the instrument panel to the door trim.
NEW MATERIALS FOR A RICH EXPRESSION
The Japanese mastery of craftsmanship and immaculate design becomes clear in the newly developed materials used in the All-New Mazda3. Parts such as the dashboard employ Mazda’s own grain for a material that closely resembles genuine leather. To reproduce the varying patterns found in natural leather, Mazda introduced creases with the differing depth and shapes of ‘growth marks’. The result is a new grain pattern that gives the interior a lively, rich expression. The newly designed gear lever panel takes advantage of a two-layer moulding technology. It incorporates a laser-engraved black layer covered by a second clear layer. When light strikes the panel, it passes through the transparent layer and achieves a scattered reflection in the engraved surface underneath. This leads to a glossy finish and a look of deep transparency that accentuate the All-New Mazda3’s sporty and elegant nature.
FUNCTIONALITY & MAZDA CONNECT
Mazda’s human-centric approach to vehicle development is all about creating cars built for an effortless, joyful driving experience. The Jinba Ittai philosophy strives for a completely intuitive and natural connection between car and driver. To achieve this perfect fit, Mazda conducted intensive research studies into how humans move naturally and what causes them stress while driving. The insights gained enable the All-New Mazda3 to bring out the innate abilities of human beings while avoiding physical or mental tension.
To this end, the cockpit and cabin were carefully designed to provide ease of operation and reduce distracting sources of visual noise. The meters, for example, are lit more brightly while other switches and gauges are more subdued to realise a unified appearance within the cabin at night. Mazda also applied the latest available knowledge and technology in designing the driving position, visibility, Human Machine Interface (HMI), Mazda Connect system and audio quality to make the time spent in transit comfortable and enjoyable.
COCKPIT DESIGN – THE PERFECT FIT
A natural and relaxed driving posture helps to minimise the burden on the driver’s muscles when operating the vehicle, which in turn reduces fatigue. Mazda’s development engineers therefore focused on seat designs that firmly support the pelvis, as well as pedal layouts and steering adjustments that enable the driver to maintain a natural posture in the All-New Mazda3.
DRIVER POSITION ADJUSTMENT
The telescopic steering gains an additional 10 mm of movement at either end to offer an adjustment range of 70 mm, which delivers more precise control over the driving position adjustment. The All-New Mazda3 also features a revised seat lifter track. The driver can adjust the seat more smoothly to achieve an optimum seating position and an ideal range of vision. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is now included as standard. This helps to prevent the angle of the seat from causing the occupant’s thighs to float above the cushion or placing undue pressure on them. The result is firm support that keeps the pelvis in an upright position.
For the All-New Mazda3, changes in the shape of the A-pillar, as well as improved wiper functionality and better distance and speed recognition enable the driver to maintain a proper driving posture while ensuring a clear and continual view of the road ahead and the car’s surroundings.
ADJUSTED A-PILLAR DESIGN REDUCES BLIND SPOTS
Mazda’s engineers redesigned the thickness and shape of the A-pillar to reduce the amount of area that is obscured. The development team calculated exactly what degree of movement of the neck and eyes is optimal for the driver and then carefully designed each detail of the pillar shape to provide a natural field of view. The new design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, while maintaining a natural driving posture.
EVOLVED WIPER FUNCTIONS
To provide the widest possible field of view, the evolved windscreen wipers constantly adjust their operating angle in fine increments. This allows them to clean right up to the edge of the glass and ensure visibility near the driver’s side A-pillar at all driving speeds. The wipers are housed beneath the bonnet, which helps to provide a clear downward view out of the windscreen. They form a thin, uniform film of water that better secures clear visibility. In addition, the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application. These evolved functions provide the driver with a clearer field of vision in inclement weather.
IMPROVED DISTANCE AND SPEED RECOGNITION
The All-New Mazda3 adopts a cockpit design based on people’s subconscious awareness of spatial axes and their ability to determine distance and speed when moving through space. For example, the belt line along the upper section of the door trim and the lines of the floor console come close to tracing the path of the lane markers that can be seen through the window. Also, the lines of the instrument hood extend forward towards the point at which the lane markers converge, enhancing drivers’ spatial awareness. The overall design helps drivers to better judge their distance and speed and makes the All-New Mazda3 easier to drive.
INTUITIVE HUMAN MACHINE INTERFACE
The latest iteration of Mazda’s Human Machine Interface (HMI) enables drivers to control the car through intuitive actions while reducing distractions that arise from operational difficulties. Every aspect of information conveyed by the meters was meticulously designed for this purpose.
7-INCH TFT LCD INSTRUMENT PANEL
The 7-inch TFT display at the centre of the instrument cluster presents information clearly and simply for instant recognition. It is aligned with the windscreen-projected Active Driving Display, concentrating information critical to driving safety in the upper centre where the driver can see it instantly. Written warnings and indicators are also displayed centrally to help the driver quickly spot irregularities. The change to an LCD panel eliminates the need to show both km/h and mph together, which makes for a much cleaner display. The result is a more attractive appearance combined with greater reading ease.
8.8-INCH WIDESCREEN CENTRE DISPLAY
The All-New Mazda3 adopts an extended 8.8-inch widescreen centre display, which enables a split-screen view. While the user moves through the menu on the left side of the screen, the right side contains an illustrative display for an intuitive understanding of the available options. Also, navigation and audio information can be displayed together, which increases the infotainment usability.
Displays and Commander Control
The Active Driving Display, meters and centre display were all redesigned to present information in a simpler fashion and fonts were unified to create a pleasing, consistent look. The base operation pattern for the Commander Control has also been unified to an intuitive ‘rotate to move, push to select’ system.
In order to simply and accurately convey important information in any given situation, the All-New Mazda3 clearly separates the role of audible alerts and warning displays. Sounds are used to guide the driver’s awareness or convey the level of urgency, while displays describe the situation and how to resolve the problem. Instrument displays use simple, everyday language to clearly instruct the driver on what they need to do to drive safely. Meanwhile, the centre display provides a more detailed explanation of how severely the problem might affect the car and, specifically, how to bring it back to normal operation.
Switch operation for the All-New Mazda3 was unified based on research in cognitive psychology. Insights into what characteristics evoke a positive response to using switches, regardless of whether they are pushed, pulled, flipped or turned, influenced the design of the vehicle. For maximum operability, steering wheel switches combine the use of both toggle and push-type switches, and the surface of each switch is raised so it is instantly identifiable by touch. The driver also immediately feels the dividing point for upward and downward movement, making the operation of switches more intuitive than ever.
EVOLVED MAZDA CONNECT SYSTEM
For the All-New Mazda3, the existing Mazda Connect system was renewed from the bottom up in order to enhance safety and user-friendliness. For instance, greater hardware processing ability and optimised software reduced the boosting time for the infotainment screen by half. Features like the navigation system are ready for use almost instantaneously after the ignition is turned on. Image and sound quality in the All-New Mazda3 were also greatly improved by digitalising signal transmissions from the camera and audio system. Furthermore, videos stored in a USB memory can be replayed on the centre display.
QUALITY SOUND THAT FEELS NATURAL
The design goal for the All-New Mazda3’s audio sound was to deliver the same level of high-quality sound across the whole volume range. The speaker layout is meticulously designed to provide clear sound in any situation.
MAZDA’S SENSITIVITY TO NOISE
Cabin occupants hear a variety of sounds while driving, ranging from street sounds and the car’s exhaust note to music playing from the speakers. Not all are necessary to the act of driving or even particularly enjoyable. However, some of them are absolutely necessary. This is what makes sound management so complex. The philosophy adopted for developing cabin quietness and the audio system for the All-New Mazda3 was to make the sounds that reach cabin occupants’ ears pleasing. Based on this principle, a great deal of effort went into delivering quality sound that feels natural to the ears.
Mazda’s ongoing goal is to realise the ultimate Jinba Ittai driving experience, with the car and the driver in perfect harmony. The All-New Mazda3 is therefore powered by the latest Skyactiv engines, including Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X. Furthermore, it adopts Mazda’s next-generation vehicle structure technologies named Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and has taken extensive steps towards improved NVH performance. Together, these measures enable the driver to enjoy a driving experience that is perfectly in tune with their natural movements.
ENGINE LINE – UP AND DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES
The All-New Mazda3 brings together a longterm vision for sustainability and a desire to deliver an outstanding driving experience. Featuring best-in-class Skyactiv technology, Mazda engines combine the benefits of petrol, diesel and electric drives for superior performance and driving pleasure of unprecedented quality.
Mazda’s sustainability strategy is expressed in its ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ longterm technology development programme. As part of this vision for solving issues that impact the earth, Mazda applies a wellto- wheel philosophy. This end-to-end approach looks at carbon dioxide emissions throughout all stages of fuel extraction and vehicle operation. Viewed from this holistic perspective, internal combustion engines are forecast to continue powering most of the world’s motor vehicles in the future – Mazda will therefore work continually to improve the combustion efficiency and performance of its engines. At the same time, its engineers will gradually integrate electric drive technologies, such as the mild hybrid system used by the Mazda3’s Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine and the new Skyactiv-X engine.
In keeping with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emissions regulations, all engines used in the All-New Mazda3 are homologated according to the requirements of the WLTP/RDE test cycle.
SKYACTIV-G 2.0 PETROL ENGINE WITH MILD HYBRID TECHNOLOGY
The All-New Mazda3 features Mazda’s latest Skyactiv-G 2.0 high-efficiency direct injection petrol engine assisted by Mazda’s new M Hybrid system. The result is a dynamic performance combined with excellent fuel economy and low particulate matter exhaust emissions.
The unit develops 122 PS at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 213 Nm at 4,000 rpm. It combines an average fuel consumption of 6.0-6.7 l/100 km with CO2 emissions of 136-152 g/km. This clean and efficient engine comes with a choice of six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual or six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmissions.
Compared to previous iterations of the Mazda3, an upgraded piston skirt and optimised oil ring profile reduce mechanical friction with the Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine. The coolant control system for thermal management promotes quick engine warm-up to reduce fuel consumption. Combustion noise has been refined and enhanced efficiency achieved through the optimisation of the piston top profile and multi-stage injection. And high pressure fuel atomisation from the injectors increases combustion efficiency by preventing fuel adhesion to the combustion chamber walls. Increased torque across the rpm range offers a dynamic performance that further strengthens the Jinba Ittai bond between car and driver.
Fuel economy in the evolved Skyactiv-G 2.0 is increased by virtually shrinking the displacement of the engine when possible. The system automatically switches between two-cylinder and four-cylinder operation depending on the driving conditions. Thus, the system shuts down cylinders one and four in light-load situations, such as when cruising at a constant speed. This reduces pumping loss and mechanical resistance. Airflow intake volume, fuel injection rates and ignition timing are precisely controlled to make the switch smooth. The driver is able to enjoy fuel savings without any noticeable change in the feel of driving the car.
THE SKYACTIV-X ENGINE – A REVOLUTION
The All-New Mazda3 will be the first production car to be powered by Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X engine. Adopting the new Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combustion method developed by Mazda, this powerplant marks the world’s first implementation of compression ignition combustion technology in a petrol engine and is scheduled for launch later in 2019. It brings together the superior initial response and fuel economy usually associated with diesel engines and the linear response to rapid accelerator pedal action and free-revving performance of petrol engines. The engine works in accordance with Mazda’s intelligent new M Hybrid system.
M HYBRID SYSTEM – ELECTRIFICATION FOR BETTER FUEL ECONOMY
The All-New Mazda3 powered by the Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X engines adopts a 24V mild hybrid system that uses Mazda’s new electric drive technology. Compact and highly efficient, the system minimises fuel consumption and supports greater gains in fuel economy by recycling energy recovered during deceleration and powering an electric motor that assists the engine. A belt-driven integrated starter generator (ISG) converts the kinetic energy recovered during deceleration into electric power and stores it in a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 600kJ. The system then uses a DC-DC converterto convert the power to the appropriate voltage and supplies it to the car’s electrical equipment. The lithium-ion battery is mounted between the wheels to minimise any effect on interior space while helping to optimise weight distribution and contributing to collision safety. In addition, Mazda’s M Hybrid system supports extended engine off for increased fuel economy.
The M Hybrid system not only enhances the car’s environmental performance but also ensures better drivability. When the car is starting, accelerating or coming to a stop, transitions feel smooth and natural. By substituting engine torque for motor torque, the hybrid system can reach the same acceleration as petrol engines while using less fuel. Furthermore, engine speed is promptly adjusted during upshifts in order to enhance the driver’s subconscious clutch operation. Thus, the driver enjoys all the benefits of a mild hybrid without any sacrifices in terms of driving pleasure.
G-VECTORING CONTROL PLUS
The 2017 Mazda3 marked the debut of G-Vectoring Control (GVC), the first of Mazda’s Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics technologies. It was the world’s first control system that varies engine torque to optimise the vertical load on each wheel, providing more precise handling and improved comfort. The evolved G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) used in the All-New Mazda3 further enhances handling stability and achieves a ‘unified feel of dynamic performance’ by using the brakes to add direct yaw moment control. As the driver steers out of a corner, GVC Plus applies a light braking force to the outer wheels, providing a stabilising moment that helps to restore the vehicle to a straight line. The system realises consistently smooth transitions between yaw, roll and pitch even under high cornering forces. This improves the vehicle’s ability to accurately track sudden steering inputs and crisply exit corners. It minimises the need for driver to intervene with driving adjustments and consequently reduces fatigue on long drives. In addition to improving handling in emergency collision avoidance manoeuvres, GVC Plus also increases comfort as smoother G-force transitions reduce the amount of body sway experienced by the driver and passengers. This stability offers a reassuring feeling of control when changing lanes on the motorway and when driving on snow or other slippery road surfaces.
SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE FOR IMPROVED BALANCE
The All-New Mazda3 delivers motion that feels as natural and pleasant as walking on your own two legs. An investigation of the human ability to maintain a dynamic balance revealed how people move their pelvis and spine to control their centre of gravity. The Mazda3 development team applied these findings to the design of the seats, body and chassis. The car’s tyres, suspension and body are also coordinated to make the feedback from road to pelvis softer and smoother. By allowing people a natural seating position while driving, Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture realises ride comfort and handling stability that perfectly matches human sensibilities.
EVOLVED SEATS FOR OPTIMUM POSTURE
All Mazda car seats are designed to support the body so that the occupant’s core remains stable throughout the driving experience. The front seats in the All-New Mazda3 firmly support the pelvis and maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine. The seat cushion and lower seatback provide the support needed to keep the pelvis in an upright position and the upper seatback bolsters the gravity centre of the rib cage.
Moreover, optimised shaping of the front seat cushion and seatback, along with optimisation of the spring constant for each seat section, allows people with a wide range of physiques to move their pelvis and spine to balance their body’s centre of gravity without making any conscious effort. It also enables occupants to stabilise their head naturally in response to input from the road surface. Because this posture requires no extra exertion to support the body, people suffer less fatigue and experience greater comfort, even on long drives.
BODY WITH MULTI-DIRECTIONAL RING STRUCTURES
Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture further evolves Mazda’s body concept, which is based on a straight framework and continuous ring structures. The new body adds new front-to-back connections that complement the vertical and lateral connections of the previous body to form multi-directional ring structures. These increase rigidity while reducing lag in the transmission of energy, which helps to maximise the function of the dampers and tyres.
The new multi-directional ring structures make it possible to concentrate energy input from the road surface in specifically chosen locations. A newly developed damping structure employed in the locations where the energy is concentrated serves as a buffer material that absorbs energy. This effectively reduces vibration that would otherwise cause noise, and it does not increase vehicle weight.
SUSPENSION WITH BETTER ROAD INPUT TRANSMISSION
The All-New Mazda3 suspension system was designed based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of force to the sprung mass over time. The suspension continues to use an evolved version of MacPherson struts in the front and a newly developed torsion beam set-up in the rear.
Specific measures include the adoption of bushings with a new spherically shaped internal structure that makes the suspension respond to input by moving appropriately in the desired direction. In addition, the shortened distance between the lower arm front bushings and ball joints increases longitudinal rigidity in response to lateral input. One result is that it suppresses front-rear movement and supports rapid, lag-free transmission of the input. The suspension geometry was also redesigned, reducing the amount of steering direction change in relation to suspension stroke to realise more linear movement while cornering. The rear torsion beam adopts a new structure that features different diameters at its centre and outer sections. This effectively increases the rigidity of the rear tyre mounts, which enhances the vehicle’s response.
STRIVING FOR IDEAL BRAKING PERFORMANCE
Ideally, the brakes should react promptly to the driver’s pedal action, with braking force building gently and then maintaining a consistent strength. The braking force should let off smoothly when the driver lifts their foot from the pedal. If this behaviour is achieved, cabin occupants can maximise their innate ability to maintain balance and enjoy a comfortable driving experience.
Development of the All-New Mazda3 therefore focused on making it easy for the driver to sense when the brakes start engaging. This means that they can easily adjust the rate of deceleration by backing off the pedal and it achieves a high level of rigidity that is maintained for as long as the brakes are firmly applied.
Thus, the structure of the brake callipers was redesigned and the movement of the piston seals that push the brake pads optimised. The new design maintains constant clearance between the brake pads and rotors, regardless of whether the brakes are lightly or firmly applied. This reduces rolling resistance and significantly improves controllability.
Mazda also paid careful attention to the muscle movement associated with operating the brake pedal. The pedal parts were redesigned to effectively leverage the movement of only those muscles best suited to pedal operation, which results in reduced fatigue and greater control.
IMPROVED NVH PERFORMANCE
Prolonged exposure to noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) eventually causes the driver and passengers to experience fatigue. NVH reduction therefore plays an important role in driver safety and comfort. For the All-New Mazda3, developers optimised parts structures and conducted human research studies to not only reduce noise, but also control the fluctuations in and direction of sounds throughout the cabin. The result is a ‘high quality quietness’ that is pleasing to all cabin occupants.
ENHANCED SOUND INSULATION
The All-New Mazda3 marks Mazda’s first application of a ‘two-wall’ structure, which leaves space for air between the floor carpeting and body panel beneath it and greatly improves insulation quality. The two walls are designed to match the characteristics of the fibre material attached to the carpet. This increases efficiency without adding weight. Furthermore, the amount of fibre material on the underside of the floor carpet was tuned to its specific location to achieve optimum density across the entire floor. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible, while all remaining holes were virtually covered by relocating surrounding parts.
MINIMAL WIND AND ROAD NOISE
Another feature first introduced in the All-New Mazda3 is a seal inside the parting lines between the roof panel and liftgate on the hatchback or the rear window and boot on the sedan. This significantly reduces noise caused by wind blowing into the gap. As a result, rear seat occupants experience a far quieter ride when travelling at highway speeds.
Developers also worked to minimise road noise and vibration. Any changes in noise should occur in a linear fashion so as not to startle cabin occupants. The sound-absorbing headliner and floor mats in the All-New Mazda3 therefore quickly suppress high-frequency noise when the road surface changes from rough to smooth. Tyres with optimised vertical spring action likewise absorb vibrations to help keep changes in the road surface from being transmitted to the ears of cabin occupants. In addition, engineers greatly increased the rigidity of the passageways through which vibration is transmitted from the tyres to the car’s suspension and body. This reduces the actual existence of vibration, which in turn minimises the amount of noise that cabin occupants perceive.
SMOOTH ENGINE RESTARTS IN EVERY ENVIRONMENT
Optimisation of the engine control system and engine mounts for the All-New Mazda3 suppresses unpleasant vibration while realising restarts that are gentle yet clearly audible to cabin occupants.
Of particular note is the belt-driven ISG used by the new Skyactiv-X and Skyactiv-G 2.0 engines. When stopping, it enables the system’s motor to move the pistons to a position where they will start again smoothly, regardless of the operating environment.