Mazda to Launch World's First Compression Ignition Engine

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【Summary】Mazda has revealed that it will introduce a completely new gas engine that uses compression ignition as part of its long-term tech development which the company calls “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030​.”

Original   Eric Walz  ·  Aug 09, 2017 11:20 AM PT
author: Eric Walz   

HIROSHIMA, Japan — Mazda is looking to improve the traditional 133 year old internal combustion engine. The company has revealed that it will introduce a completely new gas engine that uses compression ignition as part of its long-term tech development "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030." Called Skyactiv-X, the new engine will be the world's first compression-ignition gas engine to go into mass production, according to Mazda.

The automaker says that it intends to prioritize efficiency improvements for the internal combustion engine since Mazda believes it will power the majority of cars for some time. Mazda will also combine its super-efficient engines with electrification starting in 2019, the same year that the new Skyactiv-X engine will arrive.

How the Engine Works

The engine features a proprietary combustion method that Mazda calls Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, which it says solves the two issues that originally kept it from getting commercialized: maximizing the zone where compression ignition can happen and making the transition between compression and spark ignition as seamless as possible, by combining the advantages of gas and diesel engines to improve fuel economy and performance.

In this way, Skyactiv-X differs from Nissan's Homogeneous-Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) designs, which don't use spark plugs. In addition to compression ignition, Mazda also adds a supercharger to improve fuel economy and engine response, and increase torque between 10-30 percent over the current Skyactiv-G engines found in current Mazda vehicles.

Compression ignition also enables a super lean burn, increasing the Skyactiv-X engine's efficiency by 20-30 percent over Mazda's current Skyactiv-G powertrains and 35-45 percent better than Mazda's MZR units from 2008.

Mazda to Make EVs by 2019

In addition to the new engine, Mazda has also announced that it will begin electrifying its cars in 2019 but focus on markets it calls "regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution" This announcement comes right after the automaker signed a joint venture with Toyota, which will see both automakers share a new factory in the U.S., and co-develop electric cars, connected-car systems, and new safety tech.

Autonomous driving tech is also part of Mazda's ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030' initiative.

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