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Mazda’s new Skyactiv models debut at NY Auto Show

Mazda Skyactiv

Mazda Skyactiv Credit: Jose Moreno

What does Hyundai, Porsche and just about ever major automaker in between have in common? Yep, hybrid and alternative fuel technology. So the traditional combustion engine is dying right? Nope, not according Mazda.

While other car companies are designing new engines and powertrains that incorporate electric, hydrogen, ethanol, and other hip fuels, Mazda believes the gas engine still has room for improvement and is betting its future on their Skyactive technology.

Debuting at the 2011 New York Auto Show, Skyactiv models will include a direct-injection engine, a more efficient transmission and a stronger, more lightweight body. All this will lead to better fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The 2012 Mazda3 will be the first car that sports this tech and is set to hit dealer showrooms this Fall. With Skyactive, the Mazda’s highest volume vehicle will sport a 2.0-liter engine that puts out 153 hp and 148lb ft of torque, with an impressive 40 mpg combined (official EPA rating still pending). Compared with the 2011 model, the Mazda3 put out 148 hp and 135lb ft of torque with an EPA estimated 33 mpg combined.

The revised model also gets a new manual or automatic gearbox that “achieves a shift that is sporty,” improved steering and better front and rear damping for better ride quality.

On the outside, the Mazda3 will sport a new grill bumper and rounded fog lights. A hatchback and sedan version will be available.

Mazda also announced that it’s new CX-5 crossover, due out sometime in 2012 will also be built with the Skyactive technology.

No word yet on new Mazda3 pricing.

Photos: 2012 Mazda3, 2012 Mazda CX-5

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