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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found this explanation on Autos.ca;


“Mazda have made some impressive changes to the AWD system. On the mechanical side, they aimed for less weight and smaller packaging, coming out 20 percent lighter than in the larger CX-5 and fitting in the smaller CX-3. On the software side, Mazda has incorporated information from a slew of new and existing sensors for temperature, moisture, wipers, brake pressure, steering wheel angle, power steering feedback and more. A new algorithm processes 200 data points per second in order to determine torque distribution, even doing so preemptively if it detects a slippery surface in a static position. Standard torque split sends 98 percent of power to the front, and up to 50 percent of the torque can be shifted to the rear, though there is no AWD locking function.“

First Drive: 2016 Mazda CX-3 - Autos.ca
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another review;
Mazda CX-3: Urban Crossover with a Mind of its Own |

I found this comment about the new AWD system on the CX-3 interesting;
“...the presenter moonwalked around the stage to demonstrate how we subconsciously adjust our gait when feel an icy surface beneath our feet. That’s what the CX-3’s all-wheel drive system does in milli-seconds before deciding how much power to dispatch to each wheel in order to gain traction. Artificial Intelligence is truly here.“

Referencing their 'simulated snow conditions' in AZ in the spring;
“Not one nearby cactus was harmed in our rigorous pedal-to-the-metal test. The A.I. kicked in and it pulled away smoothly with neither a judder nor a slip.“
 

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I've driven AWD and 4WD vehicles before in some snow up here in Toronto, I hope it's as good as the CX-5, no reason it shouldn't be better.

There's a great video (funny too)from BBC's Top Gear, showing a VW Tiguan vs CX-5 towing mini campers in mud and forested area. Even has the Mazda Stop assist kick in at the end when he went to park. I'll try to find it to post.
 

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I've driven AWD and 4WD vehicles before in some snow up here in Toronto, I hope it's as good as the CX-5, no reason it shouldn't be better.

There's a great video (funny too)from BBC's Top Gear, showing a VW Tiguan vs CX-5 towing mini campers in mud and forested area. Even has the Mazda Stop assist kick in at the end when he went to park. I'll try to find it to post.
Have you driven any other vehicles with a similar system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why would it be better than the CX5?
The AWD system on the CX-3 is supposed to 'anticipate' when you will need AWD. Supposedly that makes the AWD kick in faster/sooner. It uses information from more sensors than the CX-5.
 

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I think that is expected to some extent, isn't the CX5 due for a next generation model or some major update?
 

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I was thinking that Mazda must be planning to put the same system in the CX5 next generation. It doesn't really make sense to have better features on the CX3 than the CX5. The CX5 sits above the CX3 in the range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Per Mazda media release 2/9/2015

"Mazda’s renowned AWD system is also updated for 2016."

KBB says
"The available all-wheel drive system also has been revised for more efficient operation."

Couldn't fnd any detail about the changes
 

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it`s said to have active torque split which I can imagine with it having that capability, it helps to an extent with the efficiency part.
 

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The 4WD system on the CX3 is excellent. It consists of a conventional transfer box coupled to a prop shaft to the rear axle. These components are permanently coupled to the gearbox so whenever the car moves the prop shaft rotates. There is a differential suspended on a rear frame with drive shafts to each rear wheel. The clever bit is bolted onto the front of the rear axle. It is a compact oil immersed multi plate clutch and is controlled by the AWD computer. The computer has inputs from the throttle, brakes and VSC amongst other things.

You have to remember that this clutch is silent and constantly variable. It can completely disengage leaving the vehicle as a conventional FWD but when required it can steplessly vary the drive to the rear axle until it becomes a 50:50 split AWD. This variable clutch is in action all of the time and not just when the front wheels slip.

The car ALWAYS starts in AWD. This way it assures the best traction and the driver will rarely experience any front wheel spin on wet or low friction surfaces. As the speed increases, the clutch backs off until it leaves the rear axle completely free and disengaged. This way, the best fuel consumption is attained. The point at which it backs off is dependant on throttle position so hard acceleration will leave it engaged for longer. Think of the clutch as being engaged by the accelerator or your foot - the harder you press, the longer you keep the rear axle engaged. One of the inputs is from the wiper switch. Why? Because it uses that input to assume that it is raining and that the road is wet or snowy. This produces a step up in engagement and the disengagement of the clutch is delayed. Of course, its not all about traction control. The system is linked to the VSC. It uses the information from the g sensors to bring in a degree of AWD under “spirited” driving and therefor dramatically improves handling. The VSC also has access to the clutch during a skid and may use a degree of AWD to control the situation.

In snow or ice, the system constantly monitors traction and will engage the rear clutch as required. For that reason there is no “lock” switch - it is completely automatic. In the event of getting stuck (remember it would be possible as one front and one rear wheel could spin via the differentials) the TRC will lock up the offending wheels via a brake application. In severe cases, the TRC can become counter productive as on very low surfaces it will back off the engine power. In this case I recommend to switch off the TRC but remember that the drive unit will shut down if it becomes overheated.

I’m familiar with this drive unit and delighted that it is added to the CX3. They are virtually indestructible under normal use and the clutch has a very long life.

This is my first attempt at posting a picture but this schematic shows the layout on the CX3.
 

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A couple of other points.

If the steering is turned towards full lock, the AWD clutch will back off and allow slip when starting from rest. This avoids "tight corner braking" effect which would cause the front and rear diff' to bind up on each other. Again, it's variable depending on how much lock is applied.

Secondly, the fuel tank on the AWD straddles the prop shaft and so has a reduced capacity of 44 litres rather than 48 for the FWD.
 

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undercarriage photos?

hi, was wondering if someone could post actual photos of CX-3 AWD undercarriage please. thanks to anchorman for the 4WD diagram which was very helpful, but just wanted to see the real thing :) thanks!
 

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Will try and do later.
 

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It isn’t easy to see from the sides due to all the clutter around it but this is taken from the left hand rear side.

 

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That's very interesting that the car always starts in AWD. I'm liking that a lot. And are we pretty sure that that bit of information would apply to all markets? I see that anchorman is in the UK. USA versions of the CX-3 work the same? I would think so but don't want to assume.
 

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Don't worry, it works the same.
 
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