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Top Gear Philippines

Mazda's Skyactiv technology

You've all heard about how "highly advanced" and "powerful yet efficient" Mazda's Skyactiv technology is. The Japanese car company is firm in its stance that Skyactiv is the way forward, and local distributor Berjaya Auto Philippines has promised that its lineup will feature more and more vehicles packing this technology.

But there are still some questions about Skyactiv that have yet to be answered, namely: (1) Do the sophisticated mechanical and electrical systems require any special maintenance procedures; and (2) Is the Mazda local after-sales team already up to the challenge of servicing these cutting-edge components?

"The Skyactiv engine does not require any unique technical training other than an understanding of what makes it more efficient than other internal-combustion engines," responds Steven Tan, CEO of Berjaya Auto Philippines. "[It's the] same with the Skyactiv Drive. Mazda engineers have termed it 'the ideal six-speed automatic transmission,' combining the direct feel of a dual-clutch without the poor shift quality, and the efficiency of a CVT without the indirect performance feel. It employs a full-range lockup torque converter, so acceleration is direct and powerful and fuel efficiency improves by 7%."

Tan stresses that the i-Eloop regenerative braking system's capacitor, "the first in the world to be used in a production car," likewise has no special maintenance requirements. "Unlike batteries that have a much shorter cycle life, the i-Eloop [capacitor] is designed for millions of cycles without deterioration in performance," he explains. "The only warning here is the same one that applies to all electrical devices: Do not attempt to open and service the unit. Only our trained technicians should service it when necessary."

He continues: "With regard to technical training, our technical manager at Mazda Philippines spent a week last December in Hiroshima with the entire global technical representatives, in order to undergo an extensive hands-on understanding of the new technology. In the Philippines, the same training was cascaded in the classroom and on the shop floor to all dealership technical specialists last April."

Photo by Patrick Everett Tadeo

Sharleen Banzon
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An inveterate Formula 1 geek, Sharleen tips the scales at just 50kg because she starves herself to save up for F1 trips.
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