Mazda Motor Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan, has disclosed plans to introduce a newly-developed internal combustion engine by 2019. According to Mazda, the Skyactiv-X will be the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition and will reportedly eliminate the need for spark plugs in petrol engines, increasing fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
The new engine will use a proprietary combustion method which Mazda calls Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, enabling it to overcome the issues which have impeded the commercialisation of compression gasoline engines. This will reportedly be achieved by maximising the zone in which compression ignition is possible to achieve a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition.
According to Mazda, the new engine will offer high environmental performance, power and acceleration performance. By combining compression ignition with a supercharger fitted to improve fuel economy, the engine is expected to deliver high engine response and increase torque by 10-30% over the current Skyactiv-G gasoline engine.
In addition, compression ignition makes it possible to achieve a ‘lean burn’ – in which the ratio of gasoline to air is reduced to a level that would not ignite in a spark-ignition engine – thus improving engine efficiency by up to 20-30% over the current model.
Development of the engine has been carried out under Mazda’s ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ initiative, which aims to drive sustainable automotive design. In line with the initiative, the corporation stated that it will continue its efforts to perfect an internal combustion engine which will help power the majority of cars worldwide and contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions globally.
“We think it is an imperative and fundamental job for us to pursue the ideal internal combustion engine,” stated Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda’s R&D Head, according to Reuters. “Electrification is necessary but… the internal combustion engine should come first.”
In August 2017, Mazda entered into a memorandum of understanding with Toyota which includes the development of electric vehicles and construction of a $1.6 billion US assembly plant. It has previously stated that it will introduce hybrid and mild hybrid engines into its cars by the end of 2017.