The New Technology Development Foundation of Tokyo awarded Mazda the Contribution Prize of the 42nd annual Ichimura Industrial Awards. The distinction recognizes researchers or companies that bring an important contribution to the industry by developing outstanding industrial technology in Japan.
Mazda's innovative i-stop system doesn't use an electric motor to restart the vehicle’s engine, like conventional stop-start system do. Instead, it restarts the engine by injecting fuel directly into a cylinder while the powerplant is off-duty and ignites this to generate piston movement. This allows the system to save fuel and restart the engine quickly and more quiet than a conventional idle-stop system. Tests performed by the company under the Japanese legislation have shown that turning off the engine to stop it idling while driving in congestion urban areas increases the unit’s fuel economy by as much as 10 percent. The carmaker uses the system in conjunction with direct fuel injection.
The i-stop system was introduced in Japan on the Mazda3 (the model is called Axela on its domestic market) and has won multiple awards including the 2009 Technology Award from the Combustion Society of Japan, the Technological Development Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, the 2009 Eco-Products Award from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the 2010 RJC Technology of the Year prize from the Automotive Researchers’ & Journalists’ Conference of Japan.