Japanese carmaker Mazda is all set to bring a revolution into the world of petrol engines with its new SkyActiv-X powerplants. Mazda claims that its new SkyActiv-X engines will be cleaner than electric vehicles in terms of 'well-to-wheel' emissions.
What makes Mazda's new SkyActiv-X series of petrol engines a game changer is its use of what Mazda calls Spark Controlled Compression Ignition which combines Spark and compression ignition, the latter of is currently found only in diesel engines.
The system combines fuel and air in the engine's cylinder similar to a regular spark ignition engine. However, at lower loads, the engine uses Compression ignition before seamlessly switching over to spark ignition at higher loads.
This usage of both ignition technologies means that the new SkyActiv-X engines use around half the amount of fuel over the rev range compared to current engines. Mazda also claims the new engines deliver better engine response with 30 percent more torque.
The usage of compression ignition also means that the new engines are more fuel efficient as well. Mazda claims SkyActiv-X delivers 20 to 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy, compared to its current SkyActiv-G engines.
Mazda will be the first carmaker to bring compression ignition to mass-market petrol engines when its SkyActiv-X engines hit cars in 2019. While Greenpeace and its cohorts may heckle them, petrolheads across the world will hopefully be able to hear the Internal combustion soundtrack for longer thanks to the new engine tech's fuel saving ways.
The future may be electric but the internal combustion engine doesn't seem to be going down without a fight.