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Mazda’s next-gen SkyActiv engines will drop spark plugs

18 January 2017

Homogeneous charge compression ignition, or HCCI is internal combustion technology that produces diesel-like fuel efficiency in a petrol engine. Mazda says that it will introduce a new SkyActiv engine at the end of next year that offers 30% better fuel efficiency by using pressure, not spark plugs, to ignite fuel, while reducing exhaust emissions.

According to Autoblog, Mazda’s petrol engines already have some of the highest compression ratios out there at 14:1, but a move to HCCI means cranking up the compression to 18:1. Mazda seems confident about the new petrol engine, including managing the heat, revs, and fuel that burns differently to diesel and the first of these new engines will be fitted to the Mazda 3 in 2018.

Although Mazda has been slower than some other manufacturers to embrace electrification, it is ahead of the game with HCCI – GM, Daimler, and Hyundai have tried but have not had Mazda’s success in developing HCCI engines in a cost-effective package.

Mazda remains focused on traditional internal combustion petrol engines for now, however it is reported that the Japenese manufacturer will begin mass production of electric vehicles in 2019.