Mazda could do something that no other automaker has been able to do, introduce a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine for a production model.
Today in Tokyo, Mazda held a news conference announcing their Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 initiative. The gist is to improve overall efficiency while retaining the fun-to-drive nature of their vehicles. The big announcement during this news conference is the introduction of the Skyactiv-X engine which features HCCI - something we first heard about back in January.
HCCI engines are like diesel engines where they use compression and not spark to ignite the fuel. This allows for better fuel economy and emissions. But automakers could never figure out how to control when the gasoline ignites. HCCI engines need to run at a specific temperature for smooth operation. If the engine is too cold, the performance of the compression ignition is affected. Too hot and you'll have engine knock. Mazda says they have figured out a solution to these issues by using spark plugs to ignite the fuel in certain situations such as cold starts. Skyactiv-X will also feature a supercharger that will provide a smooth and immediate engine response. The new engines will see a 10 to 30 percent increase in torque over the current Skyactiv engines. As for efficiency, Mazda says Skyactiv-X will see a 20 to 30 percent increase.
There are other parts to Mazda's Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 initiative, not all of it dealing with efficiency.
- Introducing electrified models, including electrics beginning in 2019. They'll be offered in places "that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution."
- Work on reducing the “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions (from building the vehicle to driving it).
- Cut back on the corporate“well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions to 50 percent of 2010 levels by 2013, and reducing that to 10 percent by 2050.
- Add more advanced safety tech and work on the fundamentals such as driving position and visibility.
- Begin introducing autonomous driving tech by 2025
Press Release is on Page 2
MAZDA ANNOUNCES LONG-TERM VISION FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, ‘SUSTAINABLE ZOOM-ZOOM 2030’
- INTRODUCES SKYACTIV-X, WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL GASOLINE ENGINE TO USE COMPRESSION IGNITION
August 8, 2017
HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation today announced “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,” a new long-term vision for technology development that looks ahead to the year 2030. As part of the new technology to achieve this vision, the company disclosed plans to introduce a next-generation engine called SKYACTIV-X in 2019. SKYACTIV-X will be the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition.1
Under the original “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” vision announced in 2007, the company has striven to offer both driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance. In light of the rapid changes taking place in the automotive industry, the new vision takes a longer-term perspective and sets out how Mazda will use driving pleasure, the fundamental appeal of the automobile, to help solve issues facing people, the earth and society.
The following is an overview of “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” and the next-generation SKYACTIV-X engine.
1. SUSTAINABLE ZOOM-ZOOM 2030
Mazda believes its mission is to bring about a beautiful earth and to enrich people’s lives as well as society. The company will continue to seek ways to inspire people through the value found in cars.
Through conservation initiatives, create a sustainable future in which people and cars coexist with a bountiful, beautiful earth
- Expand measures for carbon dioxide reduction from a “well-to-wheel” perspective, considering emissions over the vehicle’s entire life cycle
- Aim to reduce corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions to 50 percent of 2010 levels by 2030, and achieve a 90-percent reduction by 2050
- Achieve this with a policy prioritizing efficiency improvements and measures for cleaner emissions that apply in the real world
- In line with this policy, continue efforts to perfect the internal combustion engine, which will help power the majority of cars worldwide for many years to come and can therefore make the greatest contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and combine the results with effective electrification technologies
- From 2019, start introducing electric vehicles and other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution
Through cars and a society that provide safety and peace of mind, create a system that enriches people’s lives by offering unrestricted mobility to people everywhere
- Develop more advanced safety technologies under the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, working toward the goal of eliminating traffic accidents
- Further enhance safety fundamentals, such as correct driving position, pedal layout and good visibility, and standardize them across all models
- Promote further standardization of i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features, which help drivers recognize and assess potential hazards; in addition to Japan, where they are already becoming standard, gradually make these technologies standard in other markets starting in 2018
- Begin testing of autonomous driving technologies currently being developed in line with Mazda’s human-centered Mazda Co-Pilot Concept2 in 2020, aiming to make the system standard on all models by 2025
- Using connectivity technologies, create a new business model that enables car owners to support the needs of people in depopulated areas and those who have difficulty getting around
Enhance customers’ mental well-being with the satisfaction that comes from protecting the earth and contributing to society with a car that offers true driving pleasure
- Pursue an enhanced Jinba-ittai driving feel that will unlock people’s potential and revitalize them mentally and physically
- Based on the philosophy of “breathing life into the car,” further develop KODO design to raise vehicle design to the level of art that enriches the emotional lives of all who see it
2. SKYACTIV-X NEXT-GENERATION ENGINE
- SKYACTIV-X is the world’s first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition, in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston
- A proprietary combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition overcomes two issues that had impeded commercialization of compression ignition gasoline engines: maximizing the zone in which compression ignition is possible and achieving a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition.
- This new proprietary combustion engine combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines to achieve outstanding environmental performance, power and acceleration performance.
- Compression ignition and a supercharger fitted to improve fuel economy together deliver unprecedented engine response and increase torque 10–30 percent over the current SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine.3
- Compression ignition makes possible a super lean burn4 that improves engine efficiency up to 20–30 percent over the current SKYACTIV-G, and from 35–45 percent over Mazda’s 2008 gasoline engine of the same displacement. SKYACTIV-X even equals or exceeds the latest SKYACTIV-D diesel engine in fuel efficiency.
- With high efficiency across a wide range of rpms and engine loads, the engine allows much more latitude in the selection of gear ratios, providing both superior fuel economy and driving performance.
Moving forward Mazda hopes to help create a future in which people, the earth and society can coexist with cars, to enrich people’s lives through a car ownership experience that celebrates driving, and to become a brand with which customers feel a strong emotional connection.