Volkswagen’s emissions scandal gave oil burners a bad name, but Mazda isn’t ditching its plans for a diesel roll-out in North America.
The automaker has an internal timeline for a stateside launch of Skyactiv diesels that will meet stringent U.S. pollution regulations, Automotive News reports.
When they’ll show up is anyone’s guess. Speaking at the Japanese launch of the refreshed Mazda3, Mazda Motor Corp. CEO Masamichi Kogai didn’t give any hints.
“We are not giving up,” Kogai said. “We have a timeline.”
He added that he’d like the launch to happen while he’s still CEO — a statement that won’t have American diesel fans scrambling to clear their schedules.
Mazda’s diesels are big in Japan, but emissions restrictions are tougher on this side of the Pacific. Engineers are working to achieve the right balance of power and cleanliness, Hiroyuki Matsumoto, general manager of Mazda’s vehicle development division, told Automotive News.
Unlike other automakers, Mazda hasn’t adopted hybrid powertrains in its fleet, opting to focus on high-compression gasoline engines that deliver increased mileage without the added complexity and expense. Second generation Skyactiv gasoline engines should start appearing in March 2019. The automaker predicts a 30 percent fuel efficiency boost thanks to a compression ratio of 18:1, up from the previous generation’s 14:1.
The next generation of Mazda vehicles will see weight-saving measures to further aid fuel economy.