Tuesday, January 17, 2017
All-New Mazda3 Set to Debut in 2018 with Second-Generation Skyactiv Engine
In an exclusive interview with Nikkei, Mazda is moving forward with the development of its next-generation of powertrains which will debut with the 2018 Mazda3 (Axela in Japan). The Hiroshima-based carmaker is targeting a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the current Skyactiv thanks to an innovative new engine technology.
The second-generation Skyactiv engine is said to do away with spark plugs and will rely on Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition or HCCI technology. HCCI combines characteristics of conventional gasoline and diesel engines. Like a typical gasoline engine, HCCI injects fuel during the intake stroke (typical diesels do it during the compression stroke), but rather than using an electric discharge or spark to ignite a portion of the mixture, HCCI raises density and temperature by compression until the entire mix reacts spontaneously. HCCI produces gasoline engine-like emissions with diesel engine-like efficiency. It also produces extremely low levels of nitrogen oxide emissions without the need of a catalytic converter.
According to company estimates, the introduction of Skyactiv-II in the all-new Mazda3 (the model’s first model change after five years) will boost its mileage toward 30 km/L—matching those of gasoline-electric hybrids. After that, Mazda plans to gradually incorporate it to other models.
If proven successful, Mazda will be the first automaker to mass-produce engines with HCCI beating the likes of Hyundai, General Motors, and Daimler.
In the same report, Mazda also plans to beef up their hybrid and EV powertrains. They will have their first mass-produced electric vehicle by 2019 and plug-in hybrids by 2021. Mazda is first targeting the US and European markets followed by developing nations by 2030 at the latest.