Mazda Says Skyactiv 2 Engines Will Debut Around 2020 & Boost Fuel Economy 30%

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
mazda says skyactiv 2 engines will debut around 2020 boost fuel economy 30

While other automakers explore hybrids and new tech in their pursuit of better fuel economy, Mazda is concentrating on refining the more than century old internal combustion engine. The automaker told Automotive News says that it expects to achieve 30% better mileage with its next generation of ICEs than the fuel economy of its relatively new line of Skyactiv engines currently being rolled out. Called Skyactive 2, the next gen gasoline and diesel engines will debut around 2020, according to Mitsuo Hitomi, who heads Mazda’s powertrain development. “If we want to dramatically improve fuel economy from here, the only route is through lean burning,” Hitomi said at briefing at Mazda’s Yokohama technical center.

Hitomi said Mazda is driven by a need to meet tougher European carbon dioxide emissions standards of 95 grams per kilometer in 2020 and 65 grams per kilometer in 2025. “The next step is the 2020 European regulations,” Hitomi said. “[Skyactiv 2] must help us with that.”

Mazda’s current gasoline Skyactiv motors, which are still propagating across the automaker’s lineup, got their improved fuel economy by by pairing direct injection with higher compression ratios, allowing a leaner fuel/air mixture.

In the second generation of Skyactiv engines Mazda will increase the gasoline engines’ compression ratio to 18:1, from a current level of 14:1, the highest currently used by a major automaker. The Skyactiv 2 gasoline engine will also use homogeneous charge compression ignition, HCCI, essentially sparkless compression ignition as used in diesel engines. HCCI engines have more complete fuel combustion and lower emissions of nitrogen oxide.

Mazda says that with HCCI the Skyactiv 2 engines will be efficient enough that the company can avoid the use of CVTs or expensive multispeed automatic transmissions.

Barriers still remain to implementing HCCI in a practical automobile engine, particularly getting the system to work well at a broad range of RPMs with a variety of commercial gasoline blends as well as controlling engine and fuel temperatures.

In November, Mazda’s new CEO Masamichi Kogai said that Mazda is pursuing a goal of refining the internal combustion engine because dramatic results can be achieved cost effectively with proven technologies. “We will base it on the internal combustion engine and that’s where we will put the emphasis,” Kogai said. “The evolution [of Skyactiv 2] will be the same degree as the first generation.

Hitomi also indicated that a Skyactiv 3 lineup is planned to meet the 2025 standards. Hitomi said that future engine will have a system that will limit the fluctuation of heat in the combustion chamber to reduce losses from exhaust and cooling making more energy available to the wheels.

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  • JD321 JD321 on Jan 08, 2014

    "HCCI engines have more complete fuel combustion and lower emissions of nitrogen oxide" Under perfect conditions (Water - CO2 - N) which they won't be able to meet to pass future emissions reliably without expensive before/after-treatment apparatus. Mazda should start to concentrate on markets outside of failing Socialist/Fascist USA and Europe where EV, Hybrid, Hydrogen are the only options for the top 20% of the politically-connected thugs.

  • Jaje Jaje on Jan 09, 2014

    I find this a smarter strategy by applying it to all models sold not just a select few (i.e. hybrids or HFE models). For instance, if Toyota (and especially Honda) instead 14 years ago focused their money and efforts on constantly improving their drivetrains and powerplants (remember the Corolla still has a 4 speed auto) the CAFE rating would actually higher and all their customers would get great mpg for their class of vehicle (instead of having to buy a hybrid). Toyota sells almost 60k Camrys and Corollas a month which alone is 6x more than the Prius and Toyota makes more money on the former non hybrid models. The engine / drivetrains from the Camry and Corolla are also present throughout most of their lineup. Volume with moderate gains in efficiency for all models would have a greater affect in reality than small volume with high gains. But the PR machine wins out in this case. Mazda seems to have become what Honda was - a smaller company that does things differently - most of their line up is fun to drive and often on the smaller scale and less portly. Their average age is lower than their competition. They also spend their time racing in cars more closely aligned with production vehicles that they can engineer to improve their actual lineup. Also for HCCI - Honda and Mercedes Benz were working on it many years ago and could not justify it. They found it was only feasible in a certain RPM range and would not work the higher the RPM needed and they had to rely on spark ignition (gasoline is not really all that great of a compression ignition fuel compared to diesel which is much more stable). They found that the increase in mpg could not offset the addition cost of the HCCI and still have the need for spark ignition. This was also when Honda was behind the curve on direct injection and CVT technologies that may have helped overcome these issues as I think Honda was too busy putting it's full brain trust to play hybrid catchup with Toyota and ignoring everything including their volume sellers. Mercedes instead kept to the easy path for compression ignition with diesels which were often the class leaders in mpg.

    • Pch101 Pch101 on Jan 09, 2014

      Toyota responded to the financial crisis with extreme caution -- it would seem that the company was planning for a depression or prolonged, deep crash. That impacted its R&D choices, not necessarily for the better; it will take another product cycle to clear the debris. Mazda completed its divorce from Ford, and had no choice but to create new products. With the rising tide of fuel economy regulations and no money to develop mass market hybrids, that puts Mazda in the position of trying to squeeze what it can out of internal combustion.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...