Mazda i-stop Wins 2010 RJC Technology of the Year Award


Mazda Motor Corp announced Wednesday that its unique idling stop system, i-stop, has won the 2009 Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC) Technology of the Year award.

Idling stop systems reduce fuel consumption by automatically shutting down the engine when the driver stops the vehicle. Mazda’s i-stop system is fitted to direct injection engines and uses combustion energy to restart the engine in just 0.35 seconds, about half the time necessary for most other competing systems. The i-stop system also suppresses noise and vibration as the engine shuts down and restarts, ensuring that drivers experience a natural driving feel with no sense of discomfort.

Mazda introduced i-stop on the all-new Mazda Axela, which launched in Japan in June 2009. The new Axela with i-stop offers approximately 15% improved fuel economy compared to the previous model when tested under Japan’s 10-15 mode test cycle.

Axela models with i-stop also qualify for Japan’s eco-car incentive program as well as tax reductions of 75% under the government’s eco-car tax reduction program. Almost half of the total Mazda Axela sales volume in Japan to date has been for i-stop models.

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Sounds good, but is it good for the engine? If it is, then okay. If it isn`t, then nothing is gained by increased necessity of replacing or repairing engine/parts. I would imagine that the end result would be more waste and more carbon emissions IF this type of engine is not durable. If anyone out there knows engines, let me know.

I asked a bus driver in Tokyo about the engine idling stop thing and he could not tell me squat (about this issue). Of course his bus stopped at idle as all? buses in Tokyo appear to do.

I didn`t expect the driver to know everything about the motor on his bus, but I did expect a bit more.

Just doing his job, I guess.

Still, if you know about this idling stop function, I would like to hear about it.


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These systems usually work when the car has warmed up. Essentially the car senses when neutral is selected and the clutch is at rest (such as at traffic signals) and cuts off the engine. When the clutch is pressed and a gear selected then the car will quickly restart the engine again. Its a good system and saves fuel in city driving. Engines themselves are generally unmodified, usually the systems require some extra sensors, a bit of software and a stronger battery and starter motor.

I'd like to know whats unique about the Mazda system as some systems (Fiats is one I can think of) can be a little slow to restart.

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I should have read the article more thoroughly, its the restart thats unique.

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So it looks like a lot is taking place in the engine to effect this efficient idling-stop. I still wonder about wear and tear on the engine and possible maintenance issues. Saving fuel is great in the short term, but if that means more engine work in the long term, then is this truly a good thing? I don`t really believe in global warming, but I am interested in conservation. I fear much of this technology is good for profits but really unrelated to some notion of global warming. You see, I am looking for my own fuel here to use against global warmists . . . .

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ashika1009, with engines these days, you don't have to worry about wear and tear from simply turning off and on at traffic lights. Idling is actually worse for the engine.

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ashika, the only interference with the engine is to time the stop well and place the pistons in the ideal position for a quick restart. As youre using the engine less you use less fuel. There is no damage as there is still a good coat of engine oil lining the cylinders mitigating any wear from the restart. Dont worry about it, if you do a lot of city driving stop/start will save you fuel.

As for global warming...its a fact, you cant argue with facts. Not really believing in it is burying youre head in the sand.

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It's a good technology, until all the cars become electric.

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Agreed. This is like awarding the builder of a better horse carriage when the automobile is already in its 3rd or 4th generation. Move on already.

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