Mazda announces long-term vision for technology development
Mazda Motor Corp. announced Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030, a long-term vision for technology development that looks ahead to the year 2030. As part of the new technology to achieve this vision, the company disclosed plans to introduce a next-generation engine called SKYACTIV-X in 2019. SKYACTIV-X will be the world's first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition, claims the company.
As part of its initiative, the company plans to expand measures for carbon dioxide reduction from a "well-to-wheel" perspective, considering emissions over the vehicle's entire life cycle. It aims to reduce corporate average "well-to-wheel" carbon dioxide emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and achieve a 90% reduction by 2050. This will be achieved with a policy prioritizing efficiency improvements and measures for cleaner emissions that apply in the real world. In line with this policy, the company plans to continue efforts to re-envision the internal combustion engine, which the company says will make the greatest contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and combine the results with effective electrification technologies. From 2019, it will start introducing electric vehicles and other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution.
Regarding society, Mazda plans to develop more advanced safety technologies under the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, working toward the goal of eliminating traffic accidents. The company also aims to further enhance safety fundamentals, such as correct driving position, pedal layout, and good visibility, and standardize them across all models. It plans to promote further standardization of i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features, which help drivers recognize and assess potential hazards. In addition to Japan, where they are already becoming standard, Mazda intends to gradually make these technologies standard in other markets starting in 2018. Another goal of the is to begin testing the autonomous driving technologies currently being developed—in line with Mazda's human-centered Mazda Co-Pilot Concept—in 2020, aiming to make the system standard on all models by 2025. Finally, using connectivity technologies, the company aims to create a new business model that enables car owners to support the needs of people in depopulated areas and those who have difficulty with mobility.
The company’s SKYACTIV-X next-generation gasoline engine employs compression ignition technology, in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston. A proprietary combustion method called spark controlled compression ignition reportedly overcomes two issues that had impeded commercialization of compression ignition gasoline engines: maximizing the zone in which compression ignition is possible and achieving a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition. This engine combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines to achieve good environmental, power, and acceleration performance, says the company. Furthermore, the company states that compression ignition and a supercharger fitted to improve fuel economy together will deliver unprecedented engine response and are expected to increase torque 10–30% over the current SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine. Compression ignition makes possible a super lean burn that will reportedly improve engine efficiency up to an estimated 20–30% over the current SKYACTIV-G, and from 35–45% over Mazda's 2008 gasoline engine of the same displacement. SKYACTIV-X equals or exceeds the latest SKYACTIV-D diesel engine in fuel efficiency. With high efficiency across a wide range of rpms and engine loads, the engine allows greater latitude in the selection of gear ratios, providing superior fuel economy and driving performance.