With automakers racing to make zero-emissions mobility a reality in the next few years, it's not surprising to see more and more companies electrifying their vehicles.

Mazda is one of those automakers as they have already launched mild-hybrid (MHEV) versions of some of their vehicles. They even revealed the MX-30 R-EV which comes with a rotary engine that serves as a range extender to charge MX-30's batteries while on the go.

Mazda MX-5 completes 1600-km drive using sustainable fuel image

But despite Mazda's plans to make more electrified vehicles, the company also believes in a future wherein sustainable fuels will produce zero emissions – keeping the internal combustion engine alive for many years to come. Mazda was able to do just that after a production model MX-5 finished a 1,000-mile (or 1,609 km) drive from circuit to circuit while running on sustainable fuel.

The unmodified Mazda MX-5 comes with a bone-stock 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine that makes 184 PS. However, its fuel comes from Sustain 100% sustainable fuel made by Coryton. The second-generation fossil-free fuel was created using agricultural waste such as straw, by-products, and waste from crops.

Mazda MX-5 completes 1600-km drive using sustainable fuel image

The Mazda MX-5 powered by sustainable fuel was driven from Coryton HQ in Essex, via Motorsport UK HQ in Bicester, before completing the tour of the four UK circuits. Despite going on a long road trip and doing laps on several circuits, Mazda claims the MX-5 was able to average 45.6 MPG UK (or 16.14 km/l).

“We're delighted to have worked with Mazda UK on this project, which combined a great car with sustainable fuel to lower more than just lap times. As this challenge has shown, sustainable fuel is a real and credible player in our efforts toward net zero. It's a solution that performs incredibly well, works with our existing vehicles, and has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 we currently release compared to traditional fossil fuels,” said David Richardson, director at Coryton.

Mazda MX-5 completes 1600-km drive using sustainable fuel image

Jeremy Thomson, Mazda Motors UK Managing Director said the MX-5 powered by sustainable fuel is a clear demonstration of how this type of fuel will help in reducing CO2 emissions if they became available to the public.

“This is a brilliant demonstration of how sustainable fuels can play a part in reducing automotive CO2 emissions if they became widely available. In line with Mazda’s position on renewable e-fuels, I’m delighted that with this activity here in the UK we have helped to increase discussion and awareness on the part sustainable fuels can play alongside electrification in reducing emissions from vehicles,” added Thomson.

Mazda MX-5 completes 1600-km drive using sustainable fuel image

With Mazda looking at not just one solution to make zero-emissions possible in the near future, using sustainable, fossil-free fuel to power internal combustion engines (ICEs) may be one of the many new solutions automakers will be able to use to greatly reduce CO2 emissions in the years to come.