Even though some carmakers like Volvo are shying away from diesel engines, opting instead to outright focus on electrification, Mazda isn’t ready to give up entirely on internal combustion engines. This includes diesel engines, and the company plans to introduce a new generation of its SkyActiv-D range next year.
“We are sticking to diesel engines. In 2020, we have a new approach to diesel engines. We will show you how clean and very efficient diesel engines can be,” said Christian Schultz, head of Mazda Europe R&D, in a report by Autocar UK.
This is in line with what was communicated in the Japanese carmaker’s roadmap previously, which detailed a multipronged approach to sustainability. Along with updated petrol and its all-new diesel engines, the company will also offer electric, plug-in hybrid, series-hybrid and range-extender vehicles.
Details about Mazda’s next-generation oil burners are unknown, including if the engines will use similar technology to the Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) found in the SkyActiv-X mill. “We will surprise you next year,” said Schultze, who added that “there are not so many differences between petrol and diesel.”
As for other alternatives, he said, “if we come into an age where sustainable fuels are economically similar, why not use them? We hope governments wake up and see that electrification is one way but there are others, too. SkyActiv-X is a step in the right direction.”
Currently, the SkyActiv-D line-up consists of three four-cylinder engines, starting with a 1.5 litre unit that was first introduced in the Mazda 2. There’s also a 2.2 litre variant used in the CX-5 and Mazda 6, as well as a 1.8 litre unit offered.