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Mazda prefers 'diesel-like' petrol over electric

A week after Japanese carmaker Mazda announced it would be strengthening its relationship with automotive giant Toyota, the brand unveils the details of its 2030 sustainability strategy. This comprises the development of self-driving vehicles by 2025, but also the launch of a new generation of petrol engines called SkyActiv-X in 2019.

What makes these engines special, is that they use diesel technology to increase fuel efficiency. Indeed, the SkyActiv-X petrol engine uses compression to ignite the fuel-air mixture – under certain circumstances. Depending on engine load, a spark is still needed. The new generation petrol units will be supercharged and deliver 10 to 30 percent more torque, whilst efficiency should improve by an impressive 20 to 30 percent over the current SkyActiv technology.

Slow electrification
Remarkably, Mazda seems less hasty to go electric than other OEMs. Its goal is to reduce its average well-to-wheel CO2 level by half over the next 13 years compared to 2010, and by 90 percent before the year 2050. To achieve this objective, it will concentrate on optimising the internal combustion engine, as the company believes it has not reached the end of the street - especially not when you consider the entire lifecycle.

Nevertheless, Mazda will launch its first electric vehicles in 2019 – not worldwide, but in regions “that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution.”Hybrids are also likely to follow, now that the relatively small Hiroshima-based OEM is cooperating with Toyota.

Picture copyright: Mazda, 2017     09/08/2017  |  Dieter Quartier

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TAGS : Mazda SkyActiv-X 
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