NEW YORK -- Mazda will bring its Sky-D direct-injection diesel engines to the United States in 2012.
And a new hybrid-technology alliance with Toyota could result in Mazda hybrids being sold here, too.
The first Mazda diesel coming to the United States will be a mid-sized vehicle, said Takashi Yamanouchi, CEO of Mazda Motor Corp. But he declined to say if it would be the redesigned Mazda6 or a crossover such as the CX-9.
"We realize diesels are not popular in the U.S., but there are specific diesel cars that are," Yamanouchi said in an interview. "There are opportunities to explore."
Mazda says its proprietary catalyst system does not require urea systems to meet emissions standards.
The diesels will follow the U.S. introduction of Mazda's direct-injection Sky-G gasoline engines in 2011. The Sky-G is expected to boost fuel economy by 15 percent, while increasing horsepower. It will be the core powertrain in future Mazda vehicles.
Yamanouchi declined to say what vehicle would be the first to receive the Sky-G. Product cadences suggest the MX-5 roadster, which is due for a redesign in 2011. The Tribute compact crossover is expected to decouple from the Ford Escape in that timeframe as well.
Toyota and Mazda announced a deal last week in which Toyota will supply hybrid technology under license to Mazda. Yamanouchi said the first objective is to provide the technology in vehicles for the hybrid-hungry Japanese market.
In the longer term, Yamanouchi said, Mazda hybrids could reach the United States. He declined to give a timetable.