Mazda is said to be working on a gasoline engine to be as environmentally efficient as electric cars. Its latest high compression engine technology for producing the future engine is dubbed Skyactiv-3, and it follows the first generation engines named Skyactiv-G which came online in 2011, and later the second generation, Skyactiv-X set to reach the market in the fiscal year ending in March 2019. Right after, the automaker will be concentrating on boosting the thermal efficiency of its engines, reducing, therefore, the amount of combustion energy lost to heat while increasing the amount applied to power the wheels.
Mazda`s Early Experiences With Rotary Engines
The Japanese automaker is praised for the development of the rotatory engine, a revolutionary concept of the internal combustion engine (ICE), initially conceived by a German engineer named Felix Wankel in the early 1960s. Unlike traditional engines which contain the force of exploding gasoline inside each of the engine’s individual chambers, a rotary engine relies on a single chamber and one synchronous system. A triangular rotor spins in a circle pulling fuel and air into the one chamber, compresses it, and then uses the resulting power to propel the vehicle.
After a few years of overcoming major engineering design challenges, on May 30, 1967, the Cosmo Sport was premiered, marking the debut of the world’s first mass production car powered by a two-rotor rotary engine. Thereafter, other models of two-rotor rotary engine powered vehicles followed to the streets of Japan, including a pickup truck, and family cars.
On The Road to Greater Internal Combustion Engine Efficiency
Mazda’s dedicated engineering team has, since then, maintained the tradition and drive to improve variations of ICE’s to make them more efficient in producing more power and reducing carbon emissions. To these ends, it has formed an alliance with bigger automaker Toyota, which will now share its hybrid car and EV’s technologies in exchange for the smaller company’s ICE knowhow.
The new technology incorporates many of the diesel engines characteristics such as better efficiency and lower emissions, and according to Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s managing executive officer in charge of powertrain development, the Skyactiv-3 will improve thermal efficiency at least 25% over current engines, to reach a final electric motors´ 56% efficiency, thereby becoming competitive as per well to wheel emissions.
Hitomi did not offer a timeline for delivering the Skyactiv-3 technology, but he said it would give the internal combustion engine a much longer lease of life, according to Automotive News. So, with the continued Japan-based automakers engineering design work, the ICE will strive to stay on the roads for the foreseeable future, despite the intentions of a number of countries to ban them.