By on March 7, 2014

Mazda3 SKYACTIV engine, photo courtesy Michael Karesh

Toyota’s line of engine/body mashups continues, this time with their upcoming Mazda2-based subcompact powered by Mazda’s SkyActiv engine family.

Automotive News reports the subcompact, set to replace the current Yaris by 2016 at the latest, will be assembled alongside the new Mazda2 at Mazda’s newly opened Salamanca, Mexico factory. Approximately 50,000 of the factory’s total annual output of 230,000 units will be allocated to Toyota for the subcompact, with the SkyActiv transplant assembled on-site.

Though few details regarding either subcompact have been released, Mazda’s partnership with Toyota will allow the former to achieve greater economies of scale for the factory by supplying engines and possibly other SkyActiv-related components to Toyota.

Production for Toyota’s subcompact is set to begin next year, while Mazda2 production may begin as soon as the second half of 2014.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

82 Comments on “Toyota To Receive SkyActiv Engines For Upcoming Subcompact...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    So Toyota is completing it’s transformation into GM, having Peugeot help with the new Aygo and Mazda help with the next Yaris. So Toyota can’t make its own small cars anymore?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Oh now you’ve done it.

      You’ve touched on the real question. I don think anyone will say the Mazda2 is a bad car in its class, or that Mazda makes crappy engines ( yes I read the Mazda6 review on TTAC).

      But it does bring up the question. Toyota, the largest car maker in the world, with piles of cash, and the perception of building the best cars in the world, couldn’t come up with a viable B-Segment econobox on its own?

      Outside of reliability the Yaris today is the rolling definition of a penalty box on wheels. If it wasn’t for fleet sales, it wouldn’t sell at all.

      Something has broken when Daewoo can come up with a better B-Segmenter that Toyota.

      Partnering with Mazda makes sense in they build good, fun to drive cars – but this smells of bean counter decision to partner with Mazda – and the Subbie partnership with the FR-S/BR-Z yielded less than stellar results.

      Here is one other thing to ponder, Does the, “it has a Mazda engine” become a selling point for the salespeople and then creates a competitor for the spawning salmon Toyota customer who goes in their head, “huh – Mazda – good enough for Toyota maybe I should go look at what they have to offer…”

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        The Aygo is smaller than the B-segment. Toyota builds the B-segment Yaris in France.

        I guess they figured they could sell a re-badged Mazda for less than an in-house design. It’s a relatively low volume, low-margin segment in the US, there’s no compelling reason to roll your own.
        As far as I can tell, those cars are just there to advertize a low price. Salespeople will have you “upgrading” to a base Corolla in no time.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “huh – Mazda – good enough for Toyota maybe I should go look at what they have to offer…”

        Well, that’s what I’m thinking. There were things I liked about Mazda, anyway and I see this as an endorsement of their engine.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Probably the reason Mazda is getting into this deal, besides, getting better utilization out of that new factory, is to get name recognition out there, and Toyota is a really REALLY big car company. It does remain to be soon how much “Mazda” will show through, but the exposure will probably help, no matter how much there is.

        Toyota does run a risk that they’d be pushing some customers into Mazdas, but those may end up being the ones that would be least happy with a Corolla anyway, which may save them some headaches.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Anyone who wouldn’t be happy with a Corolla will know it within two minutes of driving the car. Or probably just by looking at it. It’s an excellent car that fits the majority of commuter-minded people—and that now probably has the best interior volume in the class—but it won’t stir anyone’s soul the way a Mazda will.

      • 0 avatar

        >>>But it does bring up the question. Toyota, the largest car maker in the world, with piles of cash, and the perception of building the best cars in the world, couldn’t come up with a viable B-Segment econobox on its own?

        >>>Outside of reliability the Yaris today is the rolling definition of a penalty box on wheels. If it wasn’t for fleet sales, it wouldn’t sell at all.

        I disagree. I drove a Mazda2 for five days in Seattle and elsewhere in Washington State, may of 2012. Unless they have done some major work on this car, I’d say it is the rolling definition of penalty box, and the Yaris is far superior. If no car was better than this to drive, I’d go back to being a bicycle nut. It was unresponsive. Although I loved being in the Pacific NW, I was so happy to retrieve my Civic (stick) at Boston’s Logan Airport at the end of this trip.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Joint ventures amongst automakers are commonplace.

        What this really tells you is that Mazda’s Mexico plant is too large to meet its own needs. The pressure to produce scale requires volume. But Mazda doesn’t have enough demand to take up that volume, which requires it to form relationships with larger automakers.

        Meanwhile, subcompact prices and volumes in the US are so low that it makes sense for TMC to outsource the production to a lower wage country. Building a dedicated factory makes no sense, which leads to partnerships like this.

        The risk of all of this, of course, is badge engineering. This stuff often looks better on paper than it works in practice.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Same reason why Toyota is sourcing diesel powerplants from BMW.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bd2
            I think you’ve hit the point.

            I don’t think Toyota has many good engines.

            I do know their diesels are outdated here in Australia. The Hilux diesel for it’s size is 66% as powerful as it competitors. The Tundra isn’t going to use the 4.5 V8 turbo diesel and is going to Cummins.

            The V6 in the Hilux and even the V6 in the Kluger chews through fuel.

            Toyota just haven’t invested enough money into drivetrains and engines.

            Toyota used to rely on selling outdated technology and getting a good price for it.

            Now technology must move forward and Toyota has little to offer. You can’t go out and sell 5 speed manuals and four speed auto’s.

            Even when it comes to bling Toyota’s are quite spartan.

            My generalised view of Toyota is you pay a premium for nothing substantial.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          I would agree with you, but if the factory had built CX5′s and Mazda 3′s rather than Mazda 2′s then it would have had full utilization,. Mazda already sell 230000 Mazda 3′s and CX5′s in Canada and the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The tendency of the Japanese automakers is to keep the more costly vehicles at home.

            They aren’t going to shut down substantial amounts of existing Japanese production. The cars that end up overseas are usually vehicles that aren’t made for JDM consumption and the cheaper ones.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            The Mexican plant will build 2s, 3s, and likely the CX-3 if it gets greenlit.

            The plant is not just to supply the US (or even North America), it’s to open doors for Mazda to penetrate all of Latin America, and as such, it is building the (smaller) products those countries will buy.

            From what I’ve seen, nothing with the 2.5L engine will be built in Mexico. All 6s, 3s with the larger engine, and CX-5s for the US market are going to come out of Japan. They are building an engine manufacturing plant in Mexico, too, and this seems to be a decent way to simplify production variations.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Since they’re putting an engine line in the Mexico plant, they could at any time start building 2.5L engines there. The CNC-based SkyActiv engine production line is completely generic, so they’re already set up to build all four SkyActiv-G engines (maybe the diesel too, not as sure about that one).

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      As I understand it, the Aygo/C1/107 is basically a Toyota design with Peugeot/Citroen badge engineered cousins, so it probably says more about PSA’s ability to develop a small low cost car.

      As for the upcoming US market Yaris, it was probably less costly/risky for Toyota to ask Mazda who was already building a whole new factory in Mexico for the new Mazda 2. It’s pretty costly for Toyota to federalize and ship over a low margin and low volume car like Yaris/Vitz.

      We’ll have to wait for the final product, but it sounds like a win-win for both parties, with Mazda getting the all necessary volume and Toyota hedging risk in a less popular market.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    I drove a 2014 Mazda 3 with a manual. Sweet engine, pulls and sounds great. It will be a good change for the same low tech Toyota engines they are still using in the corolla.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I guess they don’t feel like they got enough of a black eye from putting their badges on cars with Subaru components. SkyActiv is marketing speak for marginal. Mazda basically downsized all those pesky moving parts that automakers had been ‘overbuilding’ in the name of…durability. At the same time, they raised the compression ratio of the gasoline cars past what anyone else has seen fit to since the elimination of leaded fuel, also in the name of fuel economy that everyone else left on the table for durability reasons. If the GT-86/FR-S/BRZ was living up to Toyota quality standards, I’d be inclined to look at Toyota using SkyActiv engines as validation of Mazdas work. Instead, the coupe is showing that Toyota is willing to put their name(s) on a Subaru. Maybe the embarrassment of Subaru-volume issues with the coupes will motivate Toyota to put the Mazda engines through their own battery of durability tests, but it could also be that Toyota’s engines are the way they are by design rather than trial and error.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I agree with a fair amount in your post – but the only redeeming quality of a Yaris today is reliability. Toyota has dropped to an afterthought in consumers minds in the B Segment with a heavy reliance on fleet sales to get the meager numbers on the Yaris as it is. Given the age of the xD and the platform it’s on, it better be reliable at this point.

      Mechanically the Toyota’s are quite sound, but they are falling behind on fuel economy, power, and refinement. It’s a bit surprising to watch. Toyota is a company I would have never seen going, “we give up,” on the B segment. When I was a kid in this segment it was Tercel, Tercel or….Tercel.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I don’t recall Tercel ever being THE default choice, although my grandparents had two of them prior to getting a Corolla. The Civic was around the same size for about the first decade of Tercel production, and the class was pretty crowded with stong selling entries. The GLC, the Rabbit, the 310/Sentra, the Chevette, the Fiesta/Escort, the Colt, the Omni/Horizon, and a couple Renaults were all fighting over the same buyers. Even Fiat was still in the market in the early ’80s. The Escort was the best selling car in the US in 1982. Toyota had the even-smaller Starlet too.

        The difference between then and now is the size of that market. While it could be suggested that we’re in a similar time of a weak economy and uncertain fuel prices, the people that haven’t been priced out of the new car market are able to finance something far more luxurious than an econobox. Technology means that if energy conservation is driving a new-car buyers decision, they have options that use it efficiently while being roomy and plush. The B-segment is once again crowded with options, but there aren’t that many buyers. Everybody has their compact car game sorted. They build them in North America in scales that give them at least the hope of profitability. On top of that, compact platforms are shared with CUVs and small near-luxury cars. A B-segment car costs just as much to bring to market and almost as much to produce. In return, the manufacturers must reach a lower price point while selling a fraction of the volume. Nissan may be an exception, with their weak Sentra compact and low-cost Versa, but nobody else is in a hurry to trade compact sales for subcompact sales. The hatefully stupid new CAFE standards even mean that selling smaller cars requires a manufacturer to hit a higher fleet average.

        I can see why there is little incentive for Toyota to do its own B-segment car for the US market. The Nissan Versa’s cost structure is helped by platform sharing with all sorts of low cost Renault-Dacia models the world over. If Toyota has a new emerging-market car in development, it probably would be worse for them to sell here than a rebadged Mazda 2. Their home-market car is probably too costly. I think our market Yaris is made in France, which suggests that it is a money loser now, which explains its lack of promotion.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Let’s not forget that Toyota has another, premium B-segment car: the Prius C.

          Quick maths: 50K cars, 20% go to Canada (where the B segment is popular in cities), 30% go to fleet sales (rental and small business). That leaves a couple units per month per dealer. It really is just there to lure-in low-end shoppers and upsell them to Corollas and CPOs.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            The Prius C is lambasted for its driving dynamics even by Consumer Reports. I also believe it is based on the Yaris.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Yeah, that does actually present a very good question. What will the Prius-C’s fate be when the Yaris becomes a Mazda2? Will the Prius-C be based off of the Mazda2-based Yaris? Or will it continue on the existing platform? Or will they just kill it off?

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          The Yaris is not just sold in the US. It has a reasonable market in Europe since city cars like this (sub-compact in US terms) are a big market in the EU.

          Toyota obviously think the Skyactive engines are acceptable or they wouldn`t have done it. I thought in your world Toyota did no wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      Well, someone feels threatened by disruptive innovation. Might you be a Toyota dealer CJ? :)

      Seriously, SkyActiv has already been around about 3 years, there’s 4 gasser engines in the line now, and I think a 5th is coming. If there was some sort of massive mechanical issue with them it would have been found for them. The only massive overarching issues with SkyActiv are marketing issues…as in the competition’s marketing hasn’t figured out just how to counter Mazda’s innovations yet.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Do you mean like fuel pressure issues, insufficient oil pressure issues, and ECU issues; or do you mean the trail of tears that keeps them from selling their low compression, weak engine block diesel?

        • 0 avatar
          npaladin2000

          Given that they rightfully haven’t brought the completely different diesel engine here, you still seem to be making these issues up regarding the gasoline powered SkyActiv engines. Please point us to your sources.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Type SkyActiv issues into your search engine of choice. Do you need a URL for a search engine?

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            No I want a URL for what you found because A. I’m not finding the things you’re describing. Not in Google nor Bing. And B. Because it’s YOUR job to back up what you’re saying, not mine.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?123828184-SkyActive-TSBs-%28Technical-Service-Bulletins%29-for-CX-5-2013-Mazda3-amp-2014-Mazda6

            Need help opening the links too?

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “Need help opening the links too?”

            Did you actually read these things? Or even the titles? Fogging of lamps? Rattles? “Fundamental Knowledge…?” Wind noise? Hatch latch issues for the Mazda2?

            I didn’t notice any significant issues and it wasn’t just the CX-5.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Seriously, your justification for “SkyActiv engines are junk” is a list of miscellaneous TSBs for the models that happen to have SkyActiv engine options? I suppose these were all caused by an increase in engine compression ratio and a reduction in the toughness of the engine’s moving parts?

            BUMPER_COVER_(OR_FASCIA)_REPAIR__REFINISHING_NOTIC E[1].pdf
            CARGO_COMPARTMENT_LIGHT_BULB_REPLACEMENT_CAUTION[1].pdf
            Charging_System_Warning_Light_Illumination_with_DT C_P0A94_00_U3000_49[1].pdf
            CHATTER_NOISE_FROM_STEERING_COLUMN_COVER[1].pdf
            CHIRP_NOISE_FROM_RIGHT_REAR_AT_60_MPH_OR_MORE[1].pdf
            Clicking_noise_when_opening_trunk_lid[1].pdf
            CONDENSATION FOG IN FRONT AND REAR COMBINATION LIGHTS.pdf
            DOOR GLASS RUN CHANNEL OUT OF POSITION.pdf
            Driver Seat Cushion Warmer as Service Part.pdf
            DRIVER-SIDE POWER DOOR MIRROR VIBRATION.pdf

            You just eliminated any speck of credibility you might have had.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Like when you cut off your list with the TSBs that start with the word ENGINE? Read the engine ones. You’ll find the causes are fuel pressure issues, ECU issues and oil pressure issues.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Here’s an “engine problem” from CJ’s TSB list:

            DESCRIPTION
            Some customer may complain that engine noise like clinking/hissing noise is heard from the front right side of vehicle at idling or while driving within a certain rpm range. The customer may judge this as unusual.
            This noise is most noticeable and annoying around 1500 to 2000 rpm while accelerating and also can be recognized at idle speed.

            CAUSE
            The engine noise is transferred and amplified by the ground wire. Then the noise can be heard from the front right side of vehicle.

            MASS PRODUCTION CHANGE
            The shape of cover for ground wire has been changed.

            Thank God they fixed that before someone lost control of his vehicle when the engine died and the airbags didn’t go off.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            OK, here we go, “Oil Pressure.” This was titled “Rough Idle…”

            DESCRIPTION
            Some vehicles may experience rough idle with MIL illumination and DTC P0015 / P0524 stored in memory.
            P0015:00 Exhaust CMP timing over-retarded
            P0524:00 Engine oil pressure too low

            CAUSE
            The engine oil pressure drops due to a stuck oil pump pressure relief valve or OCV caused by foreign material.
            The temporary entry of foreign object triggers MIL illumination consequently, but rough idle won’t be reproduced later.

            Foreign object? I’d say this problem has all the potential excitement of a wet firecracker.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Like I said, no credibility.

          • 0 avatar
            Brian P

            A good friend of mine is a higher-up in the head office at Mazda Canada – he is one of the people who trains the dealer mechanics for new models, and he has worked there for years. He is very well versed in all things Skyactiv, and he says they’re a darn good engine. I’ll take his word for it.

          • 0 avatar

            > Like when you cut off your list with the TSBs that start with the word ENGINE? Read the engine ones.

            It seems that people who actually read never reach the same conclusions you do. Why is that?

            This must involve the depth you were talking about before:

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/smaller-jeep-to-slot-beneath-renegade/#comment-2919922

            Perhaps reading is a requisite for this depth thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’m not sure that backing off on the over-engineering is a bad move. With modern manufacturing techniques and computer design, they should be able to build to tighter tolerances. Of course, there is the danger of it all blowing up. Will be interesting to see how this goes.

      Regarding the Toyota/Mazda partnership, there are a lot of areas where Mazda dealers are spread very thin. Mazda gets exposed to a larger market, Toyota saves a ton on R&D, consumers get more choice and potentially save some coin. Win for everyone.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Is it really over-engineering, or is it the reason we can expect our cars to last a quarter-million miles? My friend’s 2007 Mazda 3′s engine lasted 80,000 miles. It did not seem over-engineered to me, but Mazda decided to reduce friction my shrinking all the moving parts.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          Anecdote isn’t data, and SkyActiv didn’t exist in 2007. I have no opinion regarding SkyActiv’s durability, if you do then by all means provide some supporting data.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            My point about the 2007 was that it was pre-SkyActiv, but it didn’t have any excess fortitude.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          @CJinSD:

          Virtually all Ford’s 4 cylinder gasoline engines since 2001 have been Mazdas. In Europe, the Duratec is the MZR you castigate in the 2007 Mazda3. It has a full main bearing girdle, so saying it’s weak is rubbish. Try buying Racecar Engineering magazine to see what the tuners managed with the 2.0 litre: 310 hp NA.

          I think you just have it plain wrong. This excerpt from Wikipedia shows that the NA 2.5 liter in the Fusion, and the Ecoboost 2.0 are Mazda engine blocks. Don’t bother with snarky comments, I’ve heard your growling before thanks.

          ” As of 2010, Ford is introducing a GDI turbo variant of the Mazda LF engine design as the EcoBoost 2.0L. They have developed their own manifold and engine control systems for use with the direct-injected, turbocharged EcoBoost. Ford plans to use the L-engine, as well as the Z-engine, well into the future for their EcoBoost and Duratec 4-cylinder generations. As of 2011, Mazda will cease to develop the L-engine, to be replaced by the SKYACTIV P-engine. At this time, Ford will be the only manufacturer still using the Mazda L- and Z-engine designs.”

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t think you are going to win him over with Ford engines. I like them, but I’m guessing CJ has a differing opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            These would be the Black Circle awarded Ford engines?

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Stop trying to confuse CJ with facts, he’s trying to spread anti-Mazda propaganda. Probably works for Dodge or Hyundai. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      You don’t know how compression ratio works, do you?

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Engines have been getting progressively lighter since they came about. Better metal, controls, and tighter tolerances have kept that evolution going. They have also gotten better through all of this. I’m talking out of my butt here, but I’d be willing to bet that if you look at a modern ECOTEC 4 block versus a Vega block the Vega will APPEAR to be beefier. Which would you want?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I have always had an unsubstantiated affinity for Mazda, so anything that helps their bottom line is good with me. Why not try high compression to get better efficiency from these thimble-sized engines in use these days? My old beater Road King is 1.25L to just carry my ass from A to B, let alone groceries and the kids. I fail to see the upside for Toyota, but I’m also not in the game anymore, so a lot of inter-corporate synergy is beyond my scope. I do recall a project 1955 Chevrolet 210 wagon with pop-up pistons that gave the 327 a 12.5:1 compression. It would pop the front wheels off the ground, but obtaining drivability with two fours only accomplished burned valves and head gasket trouble. In a daily driver with 14:1? My hat is off to them if they can make it work. Of course, fuel injection and a terabyte of comp capacity probably helps, but they’re trying to think outside of accepted norms, and they deserve any applause they can earn.

  • avatar
    koreancowboy

    After the Tercel, Toyota hasn’t been able to build a competitive car. Sure, fundamentally speaking, there wasn’t anything wrong with their Echo/Yaris, but it wasn’t/isn’t competitive in its class…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Appliance automaker teams with enthusiast automaker.

    New “Odd Couple” to start filming in the Toyota & Mazda boardrooms?

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’m surprised no one has mentioned that Mazda already did this dance with Ford, and it worked out pretty well for a couple decades. In fact, the Escort we both remember so fondly was the love child of that Odd Couple.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        But Ford was never nearly as uptight as Toyota.

        Yes I did appreciate Mazda engineering in my 1997 Escort. Greatly unappreciated as a cheap well handling car.

        In fact that old Escort is the reason I will test drive Mazda (among many) when car shopping.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    Mazda can’t make enough Skyactiv to fill their Mazda5 and they’re making Skyactiv for others?

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      Mazda can make plenty of SkyActiv engines, the production line is simplicity itself compared to other engine manufacturing operations, that’s part of Mazda’s innovative breakthrough. All of the difference engine sizes with different bores, strokes, and cylinder spacing are all built in a minimum number of machines, all CNC, and all operating faster than a traditional engine manufacturing line.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      The 5 doesn’t get a SkyActiv engine because it needs the 2.5L engine, and there isn’t room for the exhaust manifold. That leaves them with the following options:
      - Redesign the 5 (It’s not a big enough seller to prioritize over their other products.)
      - Develop a lower compression ratio version of the 2.5L like they did with the 2.0L when they first introduced SkyActiv (a lot of work for an engine that won’t be used anywhere else but a low-volume car)
      - Drop the SkyActiv 2.0L from the prior 3 into the 5 (Probably not a bad idea in foreign markets that are used to smaller engines, but it may make the 5 even less popular in the US.)

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        You know, they COULD take the 2.5L SkyActiv engine and stick it in the 5 without the extended manifold, as they did with the 2.0L on the previous Mazda3. They’ll probably have to drop the compression to 12:1 in that application, and maybe detune the engine in other ways as well, but it lets them drop 2.5L MZR production and will still be an improvement over the older engine.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          That’s the second option in my list. I don’t believe it is as simple as removing the manifold and changing a part to reduce the CR. I think there’s more work necessary to get a viable engine. It was worth doing for the 2.0L in the 3 because that’s their top seller & they needed to get the tech to market. I don’t see either of those motivations existing for the 5.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            It all depends on how much cost savings they get from discontinuing production of the 2.5L MZR. I don’t actually know if it shares a line with the 2.0L MZR in the Miata, if it’s on it’s own line, instant savings. Regardless, once the Miata switches over to a 2.0L SkyActiv in the next redesign (should be real soon now) then keeping the 2.5L MZR line going for just the Mazda5 won’t make financial sense either.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The B-Segment can’t make a lot of money in the US. It makes sense for Toyota to concentrate on other segments. The B-Segment can’t really be ignored either, so they have to have something in it. Makes sense.

    Probably the vast majority of US customers would rather buy a late model used Midsize Sedan or SUV than a new Subcompact.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    Actually, Skyactive is not a lightening of internal parts. What they did was optimize the exhaust scavaging by intake, exhaust, and overall combustion chamber shape to include the pistons. THis prevented the exhaust charge from one cylinder increasing the temperature of an ajacent cylinder during operation of the engine. The result is a high compression engine (13.5 to 1 if memory serves) that can run on 87 octane. The other side of Skyactive is the automatic transmission which, in the simplest description, is a conventional automatic with a motorcycle type multiplate clutch on the front and a system of being able to disengage/shift/engage almost like an air shift on a motorcycle. What this results in is the ability to leave the clutch locked approx 80% of the time. The trans shifts better than a dual clutch, feels better than a CVT, and, at least in theory, should be more reliable than either one of those.

    Add in the enginnering of the chassis to cut weight as well as other efficiency gains and Skyactive is no joke. I was a Honda fanboy but over the last 5 or so years have become one for Mazda. Toyota and Honda have pretty much given up on innovation, instead putting products in the market and riding on their names and marketing. GM, Ford, and Chrysler can tell you the long term prospects of doing business that way…..

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I have a question for you, since you make an interesting point. How is it that the first SkyActiv model in the U.S. was the last generation Mazda 3 when long exhaust runner lengths are such a crucial element of the design strategy? The distance between the engine and firewall in those cars was as short as any other FWD car on the market.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The reason is margin.

    Cars in this segment are deeply unprofitably unless you can leverage massive economies of scale. In this instance, Mazda gets to amortize it’s engine tech across Toyota’s massive, multi-national Yaris/Vitz/Belta/bB/Etc fleet, and Toyota doesn’t have to spend a red cent developing an engine for a car that they’re already facing cost challenges on.

    Frankly, Mazda is desperate, and Toyota probably offered reasonable terms.

    The problem with this kind of lack of automotive genetic diversity is that, when you leverage the same powertrains, parts and chassis across millions of vehicles per year, the potential recall magnitude is huge.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      psar – glad to see you back. I haven’t noticed you around here in a while.

      You’re quite right on all points.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Mazda has also said they expect to learn a lot about how Toyota delivers quality. So I expect that as they work together, Mazda expects to get some peeks behind the curtain that no one would see otherwise.

  • avatar
    Stephen7

    Toyota seems to have no problem building and *selling* B-segment cars elsewhere. I think that all this deal says is that the segment is not profitable enough in the US to design a model catered to the market nor import at a loss. Same reason why the next gen Honda Fit will come from Celaya.

  • avatar
    brettc

    One question I wonder about – Will the new Yaris (or whatever it will be called) rust out prematurely like a Mazda? Or will Toyota have them treat the body panels to their specs? I don’t see a lot of rusty modern Toyotas but I still see a shocking amount of rusty Mazdas that aren’t very old.

    Imagine if Mazda took over Sprinter production. It might crumble into a pile of rust while it’s still on the lot.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    BMW, Subaru, and now Mazda. They seem hell bent on partnering with every terrible automaker they can. Can’t wait until Chrysler builds the next gen Corolla.

  • avatar
    redav

    I wonder if the new Yaris will get the “SkyActiv” badge on them. If so, that would be a major coup for Mazda. Not only could it prompt customers to give Mazda a look, but it also would legitimize the SkyActiv brand as something real and not just marketing jargon.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      Highly doubt it. I do find myself wondering if the engine will have Mazda badging, a Toyota engine cover, or what they’ll do with that whole setup.

      They’ll probably have to replace the Mazda corporate face with a Toyota one, which might hurt the drag coefficient. On the other hand, if they get to KEEP the corporate Mazda face, even with a Toyota badge replacing the Mazda one, it’s going to look like a Mazda. And I can see them doing that in order to not give up an MPG advantage to the actual Mazda2.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Buick by Opel or Opel by Buick?

        How about an engine cover that says “Manufactured for Toyota by Mazda”. :)

        • 0 avatar
          Brian P

          It’s pretty likely that they’ll rework the styling enough that the average consumer won’t recognize that they are platform-mates.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Honestly I’m not so sure about that. TO a certain degree the fuel economy is going to be dependent on drag coefficient, which will depend on the styling. Toyota is NOT going to put up with being second banana to Mazda on fuel economy, at least not willingly. That’s not the way the global overlords of snore work.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Powered by Mazda…like old school Ford valve covers.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        The Toyota will get unique sheet metal. The two cars will not look the same from the outside (besides proportions).

        Aerodynamics aren’t great to start with for subcompacts. They are too short & tall, and they are often underpowered to hit their peak at freeway speeds. That’s why they often don’t have better hwy numbers than compacts and even some midsizes. I don’t see the sheet metal or corporate face making much of a difference for the EPA figures. (And besides, we’ve already learned from Ford that if the drivetrains are the same, EPA rules permit directly carrying over mpg ratings. I expect that rule to be used here–the two variants will likely be given exactly the same numbers.)

        • 0 avatar
          npaladin2000

          Does anyone know if that rule actually is allowed between companies rather than just within a company such as Ford?

          And yeah, aero sucks for subcompacts, but Toyota still has a marketing point to try and maintain. Can’t do that if the company you contracted to build your subcompact is matching or beating your fuel economy with their own version.

          Maybe they wrote something into the contract about the EPA ratings they would each be allowed to claim.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Wasn’t the 2 platform developed with Ford for the Fiesta…or is this the next gen car?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India