Published on November 13th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair


Watch The Mazda CX-30 Drive Across Kazakhstan!

The Mazda CX-30 is a pretty brilliant little crossover that previews the future of the company’s vehicle and design philosophy. It features the first major chassis revision since the initial Skyactiv chassis debuted with the CX-5.

While most reviews have focused on the CX-30’s excellent refinement, NVH improvements, handling and ride comfort, ruggedness across rough terrain is not something most reviewers would consider testing out on this softroader.

BHP diesel

But that’s what Mazda have decided to do for their 100th anniversary. They sent one of these CX-30s equipped with an all-wheel drive system on an 830km ride across Kazakhstan. Watch the drive below:

About the Drive

The journey begins in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s biggest city by the Trans lli Alatau range close to the border with Kyrgyzstan. The convoy then heads down the modern A3 highway towards the Aityn Emel National Park.

The CX-30s visit the eerie Singing Dune and hits the sub-desert plains to get to the town of Zharkent by the Chinese border. The next day, they head towards the Charyn Canyon and back towards Almaty skirting the vast Kapshagay Reservoir.

The entire drive took place earlier in the year, before COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place.

About the New AWD System

Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive system is the main highlight of this drive. The CX-30’s evolved generation of i-Activ AWD works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) to control torque distribution between the front and rear axles. This generation adds ‘four-wheel vertical load’ detection. It also significantly reduces overall mechanical loss and contributes to improved fuel economy. Newly adopted friction-reducing technologies include a rubber damper inside the power take-off unit that greatly reduces fluctuations in input torque sent to the rear-wheel-drive unit. There’s also a new setting that applies a slight difference in the deceleration ratio between the power take-off and rear differential

By quickly adjusting torque distribution only when necessary, the system features positive response and enhanced real-world fuel economy. The rear differential reduces mechanical loss by adopting ball bearings and the use of low-viscosity oil, along with a design that stores oil in the upper part and supplies just the necessary amount when required. Acting in combination, these measures increase the precision of the AWD control unit while significantly reducing overall mechanical losses.

At the beginning of a turn, the AWD system will maintain the existing front/rear torque distribution to prioritise better turning response through the GVC unit’s engine torque control. After the initial turn-in, the AWD system gradually increases the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels to realise neutral steering and more stable vehicle motion.

Harmonisation with GVC also substantially improves rear torque response and linearity with respect to the driver’s accelerator inputs. When accelerating, more torque is distributed to the rear wheels, and more to the front wheels when decelerating.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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