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Old 08-16-2011, 04:28 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Mazda: Breaking New Ground In Torque Steer?

Quote:
Among the many new SKYACTIV technologies that Mazda plans on introducing to its global lineup, a unique start-stop system is one of the most important. Initially Mazda had decided not to bring its idle-stop system to the US as the EPA system didn’t measure a major improvement in efficiency, but ultimately the decision was made to make all of its vehicles idle-free by 2015. But an early test of a SKYACTIV idle-stop-equipped Mazda2 by Automotive News [sub]‘s Hans Greimel reveals an interesting characteristic:
a funny thing happened when I paused for a red in Tokyo’s harbor district.
After a few moments of silence, the engine clicked on, as designed, to help keep the air conditioner going. OK, that’s normal. But as the engine jumped to life, so did the steering wheel. To my surprise, I found the engine’s start-up vibrations turning the wheel to-and-fro in my loose grip.

I turned to the Mazda powertrain engineer sitting beside me.
“Didn’t engineers notice that during development?”
“Yes.”
“Well, didn’t they try to fix it?”
“Yes, but they decided this amount of feedback was acceptable.”
I’ve driven cars with stop-start engines before, but this was a first. The self-animated steering wheel only happened once during my 40-minute run. And it was more an unexpected annoyance than a safety issue. But I suspect it will take drivers some getting used to.
Greimel says the SKYACTIV Mazda2 1.3 won’t be sold in the US, but the same technology will arrive with the next Mazda3. Because Mazda’s idle-stop system uses detonation rather than an electric motor for re-start, it eliminates a key problem with early stop-start systems: battery wear-down. But apparently Mazda’s detonation-based system isn’t without its downsides. Here’s hoping they work out the kinks before bringing the system to the mass market.
Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/2011...#ixzz1V8ErV7kY
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:48 AM   #2
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:32 AM   #3
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^That would freak me out a bit
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:39 AM   #4
Allch Chcar
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Sounds like a normal electric motor steering wheel calibration to me. But then I have a steering wheel I use for driving games/simulator on my computer and it does that every time it is plugged in.

This is definitely NOT a torque steer issue.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allch Chcar View Post
Sounds like a normal electric motor steering wheel calibration to me. But then I have a steering wheel I use for driving games/simulator on my computer and it does that every time it is plugged in.

This is definitely NOT a torque steer issue.
What are you talking about? Electric power steering recalibrating itself every time you come to a stop sign? That makes no sense. I'm sure it is in fact torque steer.



It looks like they were inspired by GM's old "mild hybrid" system in Saturns. That system used batteries + the alternator to apply torque to the crankshaft by reversing its direction. I bet these new i-stop cars have more precise cam and crank position sensors than most cars today.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:10 AM   #6
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Active engine mounts would cure it.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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Furthering my distaste for electric power steering.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hites View Post
Furthering my distaste for electric power steering.
Have you driven something with a modern system? The old systems that were built like hydraulic systems (assist prior to rack) were crap. The new systems* where the assist is built into the rack are very, very good.

*ie: 07+ MINI Cooper, Fit or new Fiesta.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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I rather like the electric assist on my wife's 2011 MCS. I like even more turning on the sport button and having the assist lessened to give a heavier feeling to the steering.
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