Mazda Motor Corporation plans to release the significantly improved models of the Atenza and CX-5 on January 7. Engineers and designers had a professional presentation for some of the parts of the vehicle at the test ride that held the other day.
First, they showed the “Jinba Ittai” (rider and horse as one body) of the driving dynamics on the screen. Since that phrase was frequently used during the appearance of the first generation Roadster, I thought that it was a concept word of the Roadster. However, it was actually a way of thinking that is consistent in Mazda’s vehicle production.
This was explained by Takashi Oikawa from the vehicle system development department for steering stability performance. “Jinba Ittai has three elements. These are; safety & security, driving pleasure, and a fulfilled life. This time, I thought to add a sense of quality into it. Thus, we aimed for a flexible suspension, continuous vehicle movement, and quality performance.”
Specifically, they modified the lower arm bush of the front suspension while the damper reduces the friction in the low speed range. The initial valve in the Atenza has also been redesigned. The CX-5 pursued smooth movement to the point of even changing the spring form and the seat form supporting it.
“The piston diameter of the rear damper has been increased from 25mm to 30mm to soften the push up from the road. We also used a friction controlling device. Actually this vehicle inherited the device that was first introduce in the Demio.” (Oikawa)
The 4WD added to the Atenza also became a topic. There were also struggles with this vehicle. If we try to put a rear-wheel drive shaft to the center tunnel, the width of the subframe covering this tunnel would be restricted. If we proceed to reduce it further, the consequently reduced rigidity may lead to a production of vibration. Therefore,the goal was achieved by merging one subframe with another.
“”The development was also done in public roads. We tested it from autobahn in Germany to country roads. Going through the joint section of the capital freeway and the rough road of Japan National route 15 in Yokohama, where the research institute is located, has also become evaluation criteria. We brought the car’s performance on public roads back to Hiroshima and made a good use of it in the development.
It feels good even if the vehicle were to casually pass through the usual road. I strongly felt that the performance of the new generation Mazda vehicle is the result of their mindful developers that value the car’s image on public roads without cutting corners even up to the fine details.
(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)