MAZDA is developing “breakthrough technology” that will make its next generation of cars quieter.
High levels of road noise has been one of the few obvious shortcomings of the cars from Hiroshima, and now their engineers are doing something about it.
Crucially, it will not affect Mazda’s deserved reputation for above average handling.
“We are in the middle of the development of the breakthrough technology,” Mazda engineer Masashi Otsuka said.
“It will be incorporated in our future models one by one.”
Steering and handling will also be improved, the CX-5 and CX-9 program manager promises.
NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and handling are long-time enemies. Improving performance in one has always meant worsening the other.
“I think we can achieve both of the goals,” Otsuka says. “I think we can find another solution for this.”
Mazda’s innovation will, he says, reduce the strong influence of tyres and dampers on NVH levels.
While Otsuka and other Mazda engineers were not prepared to go into more detail, there were hints that the breakthrough is in the area of body structure.
Mazda seems to be aiming to build shells that absorb vibrations perceived by humans as noise, or which do not vibrate so readily.
Such an advance could be delivered by more powerful computer-aided-engineering software, new materials, smart construction methods, or a mixture of all three.
If Mazda’s engineers can deliver something that’s truly a breakthrough, there should never be another too-noisy Mazda.