If I recall correctly, Mazda said that it currently does not have any ambitions to produce a fully electric vehicle in the near future. That doesn’t mean that they’re not looking for ways to improve fuel economy and give a nod to Mother Nature though.
At the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show next month, Mazda plans on showing off a version of the Mazda3 with i-stop, an advanced fuel-saving start-stop system. With some hybrids on the market, you’ll notice that you can keep the gas engine turned off at lower speeds, letting the electric motor do all the work. The concept is similar with Mazda’s i-stop technology, except there does not appear to be an electric motor involved.
The i-stop system, which will also appear in the all-new Mazda3 MPS (which will eventually become the Mazdaspeed3 if the stars align), is designed to completely shut off the gasoline engine when you are sitting at a red light. By doing so, Mazda says that it can achieve 12 percent lower fuel consumption in the city.
The system is designed in such a way that it can start the engine back up in a matter of moments when you need to get up and go again. The zoom-zoom resumes a lot faster than a regular cold start and should not pose any safety hazards as far as we can tell.
The aforementioned Mazda3 MPS takes on the sport hatch configuration and gets powered by the MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine.