Mazda's next petrol engine could be as clean as an EV

30 Jan 2018 / 18:25 H.

    ALTHOUGH it remains committed to the hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology it's currently working on in conjunction with Toyota, Mazda is also sticking to its belief that internal combustion engines will continue to play a big part in its range until at least 2035. And this is because the company is currently developing a petrol engine that it claims will be as clean as an EV, well, at least when the supply chain of energy is factored into the equation.
    At an automotive technical conference in Tokyo recently, Mazda's powertrain boss unveiled the company's plans for its future engine technology, which it is calling Skyactiv-3.
    The new tech will follow on from the first-generation Skyactiv-G that was brought to us in 2011, and the new second-generation Skyactiv-X that will finally come to market before the end of March 2019. And although it had been assumed Skyactiv-X petrol engines would see the end of diesels in the Mazda range, it appears that's not the case either. Mazda is now planning a second-generation of Skyactiv-D diesel engines, which will adopt some of the new technology being developed for the petrol engines to make them cleaner and more efficient. And the company is still intending to offer these new diesels in the US at some point too.
    Once the Skyactiv-X engines have been successfully launched, the developers' attention will then turn to prioritising boosting the thermal efficiency of its engines. By doing this, it's believed it will reduce the amount of combustion energy that is lost to heat, but while also increasing the amount that is being harnessed to power the wheels. And to explain how this is all going to work, Mazda has even released a useful video of its new Spark Controlled Compression Ignition technology.
    The bottom line here is that if Mazda is able to increase the thermal efficiency of its third-generation Skyactiv engines by somewhere between 27% and 56%, it believes they will then achieve the same low level of emissions put out by an EV. Once again though, we're not talking here purely about what comes out of the exhaust. The claim takes into consideration the total amount of emissions put out while building the power units, which is a weak point of EVs at the moment. – AFP Relaxnews

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