Mazda Motor to launch world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition

Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp. yesterday disclosed plans to introduce a next-generation engine called Skyactiv-X in 2019, the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition. The announcement is part of its new long-term vision for technology development that looks ahead to the year 2030 dubbed “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030.”

Under the original “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” vision announced in 2007, the company has striven to offer both driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance. In light of the rapid changes taking place in the automotive industry, the new vision takes a longer-term perspective and sets out how Mazda will use driving pleasure, the fundamental appeal of the automobile, to help solve issues facing people, the earth and society.

The company said it has a proprietary system called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition that takes care of two stumbling blocks that have kept other automakers from being able to commercialise the technology.

The first is maximising the space where the compression engine functions; and the second is finding a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition.

Skyactiv-X will utilise the new compression ignition plus a supercharger fitted to improve fuel economy. It will gain 10% to 30% more torque than the current Skyactiv-G gasoline engine, and 20% to 30% better fuel efficiency. Compared to 10 years ago, it will have 35% to 45% more fuel economy over the 2008 Mazda engine with the same displacement.

It will equal or exceed the latest Skyactiv-D diesel engine in fuel efficiency.

Another benchmark that the company has set for 2019 will be the launch of the first Mazda electric vehicle and “other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution.”

Mazda recently signed an agreement with another Japanese automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., that will focus on battery electric vehicles. Last week, Toyota also announced that it was taking a 5% stake in Mazda and that the companies would jointly build an assembly plant in the United States and would pool resources on new technologies. However, Mazda said it will not share its SkyActiv-X technology with other automakers.

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