DETROIT -- It may be a while before Mazda's innovative Skyactiv-X engine -- which combines gasoline and diesel combustion traits -- reaches North American showrooms.
Mazda North American Operations CEO Masahiro Moro, speaking at an engineering conference in Detroit, said that although the high-compression gasoline engine can pass U.S. EPA emissions regulations, it is not in the company's immediate product plans.
Mazda hopes to differentiate itself from Asian and European competitors by equipping its vehicles with engines that use extremely advanced technologies. Skyactiv-X, a 2.0-liter, uses a combination of compression and spark plugs to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the cylinders. The engine's 16:1 compression ratio is roughly the same as that of a diesel engine, which has no spark plugs.
The challenge with such an engine is controlling emissions, such as carbon dioxide.
"Skyactiv-X is on our road map going forward," Moro said this month at the SAE International WCX conference. "We have a lot of technology. And we are introducing each technology in each region when the time is right."
In the new-generation Mazda3 that launched in March, the only engine available is a carryover naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 186 hp.
Moro said the next engine to be available in the car will be the Skyactiv-G. Its 14:1 compression ratio, Mazda claims, is the highest of any production gasoline engine. The high compression ratio enables an engine to deliver more power and increases thermal efficiency by using more of the energy contained in gasoline. Moro gave no indication of when the Skyactiv-G engine will arrive.
"Customers are looking for good power from a sophisticated and reliable engine. Right now, we are expanding Skyactiv-G," Moro said. Skyactiv-G, a 2.0-liter nonturbo, is rated at 178 hp in European cars.
Meanwhile, Mazda has started taking orders for its new Skyactiv-D turbodiesel engine available in the CX-5 crossover. The engine is expected to deliver 28 mpg combined city/highway fuel economy.