Driving inside the city can drastically reduce the fuel mileage of even the most efficiently built vehicle. Red lights and traffic congestion mean you're sitting in one place while you engine keeps burning fuel and releasing more pollution into the air. Mazda's new iStop engine system looks to solve this problem by "pausing" your engine when power is no longer needed.
The reason Mazda is calling it "paused" rather than stopped is because the engine is in more of a stand-by mode as opposed to be being completely turned off. As a driver comes up to a stoplight, heavy traffic or anything that will halt forward progress, the clutch it depressed and the engine is then allowed to enter the paused mode.
When it pauses, the combustion mixture is already in place and ready for ignition, so little or no help from the starter is needed. When the clutch is engaged again, the engine will automatically start in less than .35 seconds and be ready to provide power to get you moving again. While in the pause mode, a green indicator light will illuminate on the dash.
For safety reasons, iStop will not automatically turn on until the engine has reached a preset temperature. The system will also not operate when on steep hills to ensure gravity doesn't get the best of you.
When compared to the outgoing model, the new Mazda-3 offers a 16% jump in combined fuel economy while also reducing CO2 emissions by 19%. Much of this can be attributed to not wasting fuel in the city because of the iStop system.
iStop will be available on the new MRZ series Mazda-3.