Could Mazda’s new compression ignition petrol lump save the combustion engine?

New engine combines benefits of diesel and petrol to eliminate spark plugs and improve fuel consumption

Could Mazda’s new compression ignition petrol lump save the combustion engine?
Skyactiv-X is the world’s first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition, in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston.

Mazda has announced a technological breakthrough for the petrol engine and claims to have designed an engine that uses compression ignition, in which the fuel-air mixture ignites spontaneously when compressed by the piston.

According to the Japanese car manufacturer, a proprietary combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition overcomes two issues that had impeded commercialisation 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”.

With claims that the new engine can improve fuel efficiency by up to 30 per cent, Mazda say it will produce lower carbon dioxide emissions than electric vehicles from a ‘well-to-wheel’ perspective, which accounts for the whole lifecycle of a vehicle and the fuel needed to power it.

Dubbed Skyactiv-X, the engine is thought to be capable of delivering high efficiency across a wide range of rpms and engine loads, allows more latitude in the selection of gear ratios and provides superior fuel economy and driving performance.

Related: Could the rotary engine really be making a comeback?

Head of research and development at Mazda, Kiyoshi Fujiwara said: “We think it is an imperative and fundamental job for us to pursue the ideal internal combustion engine.

“Electrification is necessary but the internal combustion engine should come first.”

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