Good news for VW diesel lovers looking for an alternative. Mazda says it still really wants to bring diesels to America. The automaker’s CEO says he even has a timeline, but he’s not saying when it is.
Mazda’s been talking about bringing cleaner, sportier diesels to the U.S. for a few years now. They were a big part of Mazda’s Skyactiv platform overhaul that began taking shape in 2011. The engines are a big hit in other markets, including Japan.
According to Automotive News, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai recently confirmed that Mazda still plans an American diesel debut. We know that Mazda will move on to its second generation Skyactiv technology in 2019, so it’s possible we could see them then.
“We are not giving up,” Kogai said. “We have a timeline.”
Hiroyuki Matsumoto, general manager of Mazda’s vehicle development division, said he is confident engineers will achieve the right balance of diesel driving performance and clean emissions that so far has eluded Mazda for the U.S. market.
Mazda’s delay in bringing diesels stateside is due to stringent U.S. emissions standards. U.S. rules require an emissions treatment that saps driving performance from the otherwise spunky clean diesel Skyactiv-D engines.
“Environmental performance must be compatible with driving dynamics,” Kogai said.
The next-generation Skyactiv technologies, dubbed Skyactiv 2, will overhaul the entire platform, not just the engine. It will pick up where the first generation left off, focusing on a lightweight, better ride and handling, and improved fuel economy.
Also, according to Automotive News, Mazda is also working on a new gasoline engine. It will be 30-percent more efficient than the current Skyactiv powerplants. Engineers plan to crank up the engine’s compression ratio to 18:1 from the current 14:1. Higher engine compression tends to improve fuel economy by allowing a leaner mix of fuel to combust.