Jose Altoveros / Mazda | August 09, 2017 16:30
Mazda Skyactiv-X, first gasoline engine to run without spark plugs
Mazda has recently announced their sustainable vision for the future. Called 'Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030', it is a new long term vision for technology aimed to cut down on emissions while continuing to maintain growth through the year 2030. Part of this initiative involves the Japanese automaker introducing a next-generation engine called Skyactiv-X.
Skyactiv-X is set to be introduced as early as 2019. Setting it apart from a conventional gasoline engine is that it requires no spark plugs while running. Instead, it uses compression ignition to create a spark which combusts the fuel-air mixture. For those who know how engines work, this is identical to how diesel engines run, as they do not use spark plugs as well.
Unlike a diesel engine, Mazda says Skyactiv-X uses a combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition. The new method overcomes the issues which had previously prevented the commercialization of compression ignition gasoline engines. Overall, Mazda claims the Skyactiv-X would have a 20 to 30 percent increase in efficiency over it's current Skyactiv-G engine. This also allows for fuel economy similar to a diesel but without the high emissions.
To clarify, Mazda says the Skyactiv-X engine will still use spark plugs in certain conditions, such as those in low temperature areas and during low rpms, to overcome technical hurdles hampering this technology. It will also come with a supercharger to help increase torque and engine response. Furthermore, the company also has no plans to supply the engine to other automakers.
In line with helping create a greener future, Mazda will also be introducing electrically-driven vehicles beginning 2019. The Hiroshima-based manufacturer has yet to announce which vehicles will see electrification.