Mazda To Launch Petrol Engine With Diesel Economy

Gladys Abbott
August 8, 2017

The new engines capable of HCCI, which will be known as SkyActiv-X, are thought to be destined for the next-generation Mazda 3 compact hatchback and sedan. Because most of the world's cars will for some time still be powered by a combustion engine, greener engines will "make the greatest contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions".

Mazda's engine technology was the vehicle maker's "heart", said executive vice-president Akira Muramoto.

In compression ignition diesel engines it's the piston compression that ignites the air-fuel mixture, while petrol engines rely on a spark plug.

Mazda said the new engine, to be called SKYACTIV-X, would be 20 to 30 percent more efficient than its current SKYACTIV-G engine.

Ultimately the new motor aims to provide a "best of both worlds" solution: the efficiency of a diesel engine without the dirty exhaust emissions that have caused so much controversy lately. The process allows the engine to operate at lower temperatures, which reduces a lot of the heat energy normally lost in gasoline engines. According to the company, the technology is an evolution of the ultra-high compression ratio being used in its current range of engines. He added that this enables "better thermal efficiency, improved fuel economy and lower nitrogen oxide emissions".

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Mazda says it will use technology more commonly found on diesel engines to improve the economy and emissions of its next-generation petrol engines. SkyActiv-X will avoid the issue by operating as a conventional, spark plug-ignited engine when conditions demand it. Coupled with a supercharger, the tech should also yield between 10 and 30 percent more torque than the current (naturally aspirated) SkyActiv range.

Now Mazda, one of the smallest global automakers, plans to introduce it in a radical new engine to be used in a future Mazda vehicle in 2019.

While the new SkyActiv engine is still under development, Mazda released some information on the upcoming mill as part of its new long-term vision announcement, which it's calling Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030.

"We think it is an imperative and fundamental job for us to pursue the ideal internal combustion engine", said Mazda's head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara.

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