• Mar 26, 2009
2010 Mazda CX-7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Not long ago, the premium German manufacturers said they were going to push diesels instead of hopping on the hybrid train, but we see where that's gone: Porsche has hybrids, BMW is pushing its coming hybrids, and Mercedes is oozing its hybrid desires everywhere. Of course, all three brands have diesels, too, but they seem to be hedging their bets that gas-electric is the wave of the future... at least for North America. Now, Mazda has gone on record with CNN, saying that it is dedicated to diesels and weight reduction, and the company plans to have a diesel that can post mild hybrid-like fuel economy numbers by 2011.

The 2.0-liter clean diesel that Mazda has in mind would sip gas like the 660-cc gas engine in a kei car, and be as efficient as a hybrid like those using GM's BAS system or BMW's Efficient Dynamics. The diesel will employ Mazda's single-nanotechnology system, which can allow for fewer precious metals in catalytic converters, and a newly developed particulate filter that alone can do the job of additional treatment systems.

What's special about the plan is that Mazda says its diesel engine will be cheaper, and the weight reduction will "be achieved at lower cost." Mazda's R&D chief said, "We believe that improving today's conventional engines at a low cost is the most effective way to get fuel-efficient cars to proliferate." If Mazda really can sell a lighter, more efficient production car with proven technology, then sign us up. We'll even put up with that happy-face grille...



[Source: CNN]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Porsche has hybrids, BMW is pushing its coming hybrids, and Mercedes is oozing its hybrid desires everywhere. Of course, all three brands have diesels, too, but they seem to be hedging their bets that gas-electric is the wave of the future... at least for North America."

      I don't think they are betting gas/electric is the wave of the future, but they would be stupid to ignore the great PR job the EPA is and has been doing for the hybrids leading to their popularity in the US.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This leaves Mazda as one of the only mainstream auto makers not drinking the hybrid Kool-aid.

      Kudos to them!

      And I wholeheartedly agree with the 2nd reply here too. The "let's make a green car that outweighs it's supposedly non-green counterpart by several hundred pounds" mentality is stupid, but people keep buying into it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        naggs:
        Kinda funny you'd say that since it seems at least two teams will run hybrid F1 cars this year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The so-called "hybrid" F1 cars are hardly the same as a hybrid street car with a few hundred pounds of battery pack that power electric motors. KERS stores energy in a flywheel, then that energy can be periodically used to add power when accelerating.
        • 5 Years Ago
        they don't seem to be the only ones who realize that for the time being, hybrid tech is not compatable with a sports car
        • 5 Years Ago
        indeed, racing is the only hope we have of getting this stuff to work

        why doesn't f1 just cap the amount of fuel allowed to each car for the race and let the best engineers in the world figure out the best way to increase efficiency?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if it's possible to build a Wankel that runs on diesel. It would still be compact and might improve the torque deficit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        re: Diesel Wankel.
        Rolls Royce tried that in the 60s
        • 5 Years Ago
        The diesel Wankel has been tried before, both by Perkins Diesel Engines and Rolls Royce. It didn't work, fundamentally because the higher compression of the diesel was even harder on what has always been the Wankel's weak point; - the rotor tip seals.
        This was admittedly several years ago and material technology has come a long way, so it may be possible now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're also forgetting that rotaries are awesome for turbocharging. You could have a pretty tiny rotary turbo diesel making some damn good power. Or maybe a turbo compound rotary diesel (where the turbo's power from spinning is transmitted to the driveshaft) could work too. The big problem is the current design of apex seals can't take the pressure of a normal diesel's operation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A diesel rotary. Hmmmmmmm Good HP,LOW weight, few moving parts, small dimensions an excellent torque, low build price. Wow I want one to go in my second car. First as an RX7.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is good news. We had a 1985 Mazda 626 LX Diesel. Great car, great mileage. Still miss that car.

      Only thing is that new smiley face. I saw a 2010 Mazda 3 today, and that smile is gigantic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i know, saw one for the first time, it looked like a old 3 with some horrible new face
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it's a good step Mazda is doing... I still love hybrids, but let's face it, not everyone is going out to get a hybrid or electric car anytime soon... Especially due to the recession. We still have a diesel car at home and it still handles right.

      IMEE
      http://cash-for-clunkers.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Mazda and Audi are the only automakers that are making less exciting (to the mainstream) but more significant advances that are overall more green (weight-savings AND diesels) than bloated hybrids.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, so Mazda has made neither a Diesel or a weight-saving car and you're ready to crown them the champs, eh? I guess it's just in how you manage your press releases.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kinda on the Mazda bashing train today LS. We are just a bit excited I guess as it appeals to the Mazda thinking of simple, fun, light.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Mazda FTW!: LS is not really on the Mazda bashing train.. he's just always on the Diesel-dissing, hybrid-hyping bandwagon.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LS:

        Mazda has diesels, just not in the USA.

        Also they've shown their commitment to weight reduction with the current Mazda2 (lighter than the previous version) and the steps they took to achieve it, like optimizing the wiring harness design to save a few pounds.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Mazda has diesels, just not in the USA."

        Actually they did. Mazda imported a small number (very small I believe) of 626 diesels in the 80's. I used to have a repair manual for it at my old job.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why a 2.0 liter engine? Why not 1.0 liter. I'm in no rush to get to work. I can wait a few extra seconds to get up to 60 mph. Fuel economy is a function of acceleration. Sacrifice acceleration and you can have immense fuel mileage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, not really. You can drive a car capable of going form 0-60 in 6 seconds anyway you want. You will never get the fuel economy, lb per lb, of a transport truck, or for that matter of a car with a 600 cc diesel engine mated to a 7 speed transmission.
        • 5 Years Ago
        but you can sacrifice acceleration with any size engine, its how you drive
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't see how a 2.0L turbo-Diesel is going to provide fuel economy like a 0.6L Kei car does. Maybe on the highway, but in the city it is going to fall behind both hybrids (dual-mode or close to it like Toyota, Ford and Honda's systems) and the tiny gas Kei engine/car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        travisty:
        If you spend 1/3rd your time in the city, that means you'll gain huge amounts from a hybrid. Given the disparity between city and highway, city mpg tends to dominate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But for some of us, the highway mileage is the only part that we care about. Out of my 1/2 hour commute maybe 10min total is spent under 35mph, and the rest is at highway speed. A hybrid would be relatively useless to me, at least compared to a diesel that can get 50mpg on the highway portion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good for Mazda, hybrids are great but they are not a panacea. In fact hybrids are only really effective for a pretty narrow range of driver. People who live in warm weather climates and do allot of city driving. As those who live in cold climes have already figured out, when the temp goes down so does the effectiveness of your battery. Whether its the die-hard that starts your engine or a fancy li-ion. For those of us that drive in the cold or only on fast-moving freeways, a world where every car is a hybrid (like the current gov. would like to see) is more of a nightmare than a dream come true. I hope companies like Mazda stick to their guns and continue to give customers a choice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anybody wonder what CARB's 2012 mandates on ULSD for shipping is going to do to diesel fuel prices?
      http://www.allbusiness.com/government/government-procedure-lawmaking/11483395-1.html
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