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Mazda Skyactiv-3 Engine to Rival Fuel Economy of EVs

Automaker is already looking past Skyactiv-X

It has been a while since Mazda debuted its Skyactiv-G high-compression engine tech in 2011. Now, it’s getting ready to introduce a second-generation technology known as Skyactiv-X, which is said to be the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition. According to Automotive News, Mazda is thinking even farther ahead into the future with a third-generation Skyactiv-3 engine.

Speaking at an automotive technical conference, Mazda powertrain boss Mitsuo Hitomi confirmed plans for Skyactiv-3. The new mill will increase thermal efficiency, reducing the amount of combustion energy lost to heat. Compared to Skyactiv-X, Mazda wants to increase thermal efficiency by 27 percent to 56 percent. At this level, the engine can claim emission levels on par with an EV, Hitomi said.

Here, Mazda is comparing the well-to-wheel emissions of its future engines to those of an electric vehicle. Of course, this includes carbon dioxide pollution resulting from the production of electricity needed to power an EV. Mazda looks at emissions created from the extraction of oil and the refining of gas when it comes to vehicles with internal combustion engines. Since Mazda thinks its future engines can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent, they should achieve well-to-wheel fuel economy similar to that of an EV, according to the powertrain chief.

Hitomi didn’t indicate when Mazda will introduce Skyactiv-3. But it probably won’t be anytime very soon, considering Skyactiv-X is set to roll out sometime in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.

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2018 Mazda Mazda6

2018 Mazda Mazda6

MSRP $21,950 Sport (Manual) Sedan