Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mazda Scores Innovation Award for SKYACTIVE-X Compression-Ignition Engine

From our perspective, there are two key ways that Mazda is strongly distinguishing itself within the automotive today's automotive industry

The first is car model design aesthetics. In a world where you increasingly need to play "find the badge" to identify the manufacturer of that latest boring crossover or lookalike Sonata- or Fusion-shaped fastback sedan, Mazda takes the intractable reality of the aerodynamic and safety-driven basic shapes that the industry feels obligated to produce today and manages to produce standout designs that are stunning enough to make a car enthusiast drool.

Mazda is also pushing the edges outward on the technology and research-and-development side. To name just a few examples, Mazda has made automotive technology news recently with a partnership with Denso and Toyota for electric vehicle R&D, an effort to obsolete the lead-acid starter battery with a lithium-ion replacement, and their latest public triumph: a Gold Edison Award for the SKYACTIV-X compression-ignition engine. 

SKYACTIV-X, the world’s first commercially available compression-ignition engine, took top honors in the Engine Enhancements category, competing against other technologies in automotive, heavy transportation and aerospace industries, among others.

“We are humbled that Edison Awards steering committee and industry leaders selected Mazda’s SKYACTIV-X engine for a gold award,” said Masashi Otsuka, VP of R&D and design, Mazda North American Operations. “Mazda’s goal is to create a sustainable path forward, introducing cars and technologies that enrich people’s lives as well as society. This award means a great deal to the men and women who are building our future throughout Mazda Motor Corporation.”

A part of Mazda’s forward-looking Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 plan, SKYACTIV-X implements Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) to seamlessly transition between compression ignition and spark ignition. Using a spark plug as a control mechanism, SKYACTIV-X is able to finely balance ignition timing and its air-to-fuel ratio, maximizing fuel-efficiency. The net result combines the efficiency and torque of a diesel with the high-revving drivability and lower CO2 emissions of a gasoline engine.

The benefits of greater torque and responsiveness allow Mazda’s engineers to more closely space gear ratios for quicker acceleration without impacting efficiency, complementing Mazda’s human-centric Jinba Ittai—“horse and rider as one”—driving dynamics. Mazda will introduce SKYACTIV-X in a production vehicle in 2019.

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