As per an exclusive report published by Nikkei, the all-new powerplant will use “pressure, not spark plugs, to ignite fuel.” It sounds ridiculous when you think about it, but Mazda proved time and time again that it can win an argument against all the odds. Here’s a case in point about what I’m on about: the Japanese automaker was the first to perfect the rotary (Wankel) engine.
Due to the lack of spark plugs, the new engine will employ homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) to make things go boom. In other words, a gasoline-fed motor with the ignition system of a diesel engine. Other than superior gas mileage, this technical solution is also believed to reduce exhaust emissions. Slated to debut in 2018 in the next-gen Mazda3, the homogenous charge compression ignition SkyActiv mill will then roll out to other models.
Nikkei’s report highlights that the second-generation SkyActiv engine “would give the current Mazda3 mileage approaching 30 km per liter, according to estimates.” That’d be 3.3 l/100 km and 70.5 miles per gallon, figures that would put the 2018 Mazda3 at the very top of the compact segment.
In related news, Mazda plans to mass produce an electric vehicle by 2019, whereas a plug-in hybrid is in the offing for 2021. Considering that the Japanese automaker joined forces with Toyota to research and develop electrification solutions, it’s pretty obvious that Mazda is thinking ahead, making preparations for the next decade of automotive history.