Mazda confirm combustion engines for 'many years to come'
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Mazda have outlined their bold long-term development vision, ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,’ to cut greenhouse emissions, introduce electrification, advance safety technologies, and become the world’s leading internal combustion engine manufacturer.
In an era when many global manufacturers are leaping into the EV field, Mazda has bucked the trend by announcing that that the company has been developing an entirely new kind of internal combustion set to debut in the next-generation range of SKYACTIV engines - SKYACTIV-X.
President and of CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation, Masamichi Kogai, said that the Hiroshima-based company will incorporate electrification technologies in the future, but the hybrid system will be paired with their new base engines. Kogai confirmed that Mazda will continue development of the internal combustion engine and that the combustion engine will “remain a component of the majority of drivetrains globally for many years to come.”
SKYACTIV-X is a new engine design that Mazda say combines the advantages of both diesel and petrol combustion, resulting in a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption compared to the very latest SKYACTIV-G engines fitted to current models.
The new SKYACTIV-X engines will use a method is called CCI (controlled compression ignition) and involves developments in two key areas of the combustion process.
“The first is compression ignition, and the second is a capability to completely control the compression ignition, which is Mazda’s original technology,” said Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer of Mazda.
“CI (compression ignition) is a combustion method adopted for diesel engines. Trying to do the same combustion in gasoline engine is called HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition)
“It is a combustion method where gasoline and air are completely mixed and ignited by compression temperature and pressure. Very lean air-fuel mixture that is too lean to combust by spark ignition, can combust by this method cleanly and rapidly.
“Secondly, right after the piston starts moving from the top dead center, combustion takes place spontaneously and rapidly in everywhere in the combustion chamber, which enhances the force to push the piston and does it for a longer time, which improves efficiency."
Mazda President Masamichi Kogai added; “We’ll investigate every possibility in our quest to perfect the internal combustion engine and become the world’s leading company in this field.“
Mazda expect the next-generation SKYACTIV-X engine will appear in new models in 2019.
Mazda have also announced a push to expand the standard safety features, especially their autonomous driving system which is currently just a concept. The company plans to incorporate the Mazda Co-Pilot autonomous driving system as a standard feature on their entire product range by 2025.
The company has also set lofty targets to dramatically reduce greenhouse emissions over the entire life cycle of the vehicle.
Mazda’s currently use a ‘tank-to-wheel’ approach which accounts for emissions produced while driving. That scope will expand to a ‘well-to-wheel’ approach that includes the fuel extraction, manufacturing and shipping as well as real-word driving emissions.
Mazda aim to reduce their well-to-wheel emissions to 50 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030, and a 90 per cent reduction by 2050.