Mazda Delays Diesel Again

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
mazda delays diesel again

Mazda is delaying the launch of the North American-spec SKYACTIV-D diesel engine, as engineers grapple with getting the engine to meet both emissions and performance benchmarks in North American spec.

A report by Automotive News suggests that Mazda is struggling with getting the diesel mill to where they want it without the inclusion of an exhaust after-treatment system. AN‘s Ryan Beene spoke with Mazda PR head Jeremy Barnes, who offered an explanation for the series of delays

“There are challenges with meeting the emissions standards without after-treatment systems,” Barnes said. “We believed our Skyactiv technology can meet it — and it can — but the challenge is engineering a car that delivers the kind of performance that a Mazda needs to have and we’re unable to do that given where we are right now.”

AN reports that in addition to forgoing an after-treatment system, Mazda is investigating alternatives including a urea based after-treatment, or a special catalyst to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.

Mazda has also had other issues with the SKYACTIV-D motor, a modified dipstick and a request for owners to vigilantly monitor oil consumption. In America, where diesel engines are a rather unknown quantity in passenger cars and deferred maintenance is the order of the day for many motorists, this would likely be an unacceptable solution.

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  • Kyree Kyree on Jan 09, 2014

    Just out of curiosity, what's the take rate on the Cruze Diesel? I've seen exactly zero of them so far.

    • See 2 previous
    • Kyree Kyree on Jan 09, 2014

      @Carrera Or it could have been used as an incentive to buy the otherwise uncompetitive Malibu...

  • Ajla Ajla on Jan 09, 2014

    The Mazda diesel will be available here right around the time that Alfa comes back to the US and Lincoln gets a $70K flagship.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jan 10, 2014

    Diesel prices are more varied than gas, for reasons I can't figure out, but most of my diesel is the price of midgrade...if it is more than premium go elsewhere. The CUV segment, or the minivan segment, would do better. Why Audi brings in A6, etc but no A4 is beyond me, but it may be all about the leasing. TDI has no urea injection. I've noticed the diesel advantage is that in hard driving you don't have mileage fall off huge like a gas engine. The other advantage is that the torque gets you off the line fast, so city driving is easy. In a larger car, the mileage advantages are better...with small cars, less so. Still, the TDI is the car my family fights over in the morning...I get the old 3 as a consolation prize :)

    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 10, 2014

      @speedlaw US diesel price at the bowser is impacted by supply and demand and taxation. The US refiners are finding it more profitable to export diesel than to sell 'locally' in the US. This has driven up the wholesale price of diesel. If the US had similar regulations as it's major trading partners, diesel powered vehicles would be more attractive in the US. You wouldn't have issues like this Skyactive engine. It's sort of ridiculous to state that US standards are better. They are different like many of it's vehicle standards to reduce external competition.

  • Old blue Old blue on Jan 10, 2014

    the problem is not small volume but poor design the diesels in Australia have been having terrible problems reports: Wow, people are cancelling their orders out in Europe and Australia for the SkyActive Diesel due to the problems of diesel fuel overfilling the crankcase. Mazda's response to this is that the owner MUST check their dipstick level every 600 miles or Mazda will void the warranty if and when the engine seizes. So Mazda is basically putting the owner on notice that if they don't check their dipstick oil levels every 600 miles, they are not performing proper maintenance and if the crankcase gets sucked dry or overfilled with diesel fuel, your engine will fail and Mazda will not cover it under warranty: Mazda is also calling for oil changes every 2,000km or 1,200 miles: