Mazda develops SkyActiv vehicle dynamics technologies

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Mazda has announced SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics, a series of new-generation vehicle motion control technologies. The first in the series, G-Vectoring Control, will be introduced across Mazda’s entire model range, starting with the updated Mazda Axela (known as Mazda3 outside Japan), which goes on sale in Japan today. The first North American application will come later this year in the 2017 Mazda6.

Part of the SkyActiv Technology suite, SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics is intended to provide integrated control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body to enhance the car’s Jinba Ittai feel – Mazda-speak for a sense of connectedness between car and driver that distinguishes its vehicles.

The first technology in the announced SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics series, G-Vectoring Control (GVC), implements the idea of using the engine to enhance chassis performance. It is claimed by Mazda to be the world’s first control system to vary engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to provide integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces and to optimize the vertical load on each wheel for smooth and efficient vehicle motion.

Optimizing the load on each tire brings the movements of the car more in line with the driver’s intentions, reducing the need for steering corrections, according to the company. Changes in the acceleration forces acting upon vehicle occupants are smoother, reducing torso sway and making for a more comfortable ride. In addition, GVC improves handling and stability on wet, snowy and unpaved roads. Overall, the traction the system provides is intended to inspire confidence and make driving more fun.

GVC is adaptable to vehicles of any class and drive type, with the only requirements being a SkyActiv engine, which allows precise control over torque output, and a SkyActiv chassis, which enables the dynamic performance.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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