• Mar 31st 2010 at 2:35PM
  • 46
Mazda SKY-D and SKY-G engines – Click above for high-res image gallery

If there's one thing we're clamoring for here in the U.S., it's more diesel engines in passenger cars. Mazda will soon be answering our cries, as it plans to launch its all-new SKY-D powertrain in its "next-generation mid-sized car" (read: Mazda6) sometime in 2012.

The big news about this engine is that it's expected to achieve up to 43 miles per gallon on the highway, trumping the current class-leader of fuel economy in the mid-size sedan department, the Ford Fusion Hybrid. This powerplant will be mated to a brand new six-speed automatic transmission, called SKY-Drive, and will not only meet Tier 2 Bin 5 regulations, but will meet North America's strict emissions standards.

In addition to the SKY-D diesel engine, Mazda has said that it plans to build a new SKY-G gasoline engine that when coupled to the SKY-Drive six-speed automatic will provide 15 percent better fuel economy than the its petrol poweplants currently in use. Hit the jump to read the full details in Mazda's press release.

[Source: Mazda]
Show full PR text

SKY-G and SKY-D engines significantly improve fuel economy and dynamic performance

Mazda is synonymous with powertrain innovation. And now, the company that has engineered the world's only mass produced rotary engine is at it once again. The Mazda SKY Concept is a development strategy behind a series of next-generation powertrains with global roll-out starting in 2011. The word "sky" reflects Mazda's desire to deliver driving pleasure while helping to ensure blue skies and clean air for future generations. To achieve this, Mazda engineers have adopted a "sky's the limit" approach, and are embracing unconventional thinking in their pursuit of ultimate powertrain efficiency.

"Improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions is not just a goal at Mazda, it's part of our business plan; we will make vehicles that are safer for our environment," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. "We will increase our fuel economy globally by 30 percent by 2015 and offer affordable eco-friendly vehicles to all Mazda customers, not to just a limited segment of the market. The SKY Concept powertrains will play a big part in making this happen."

The all-new next-generation SKY Concept powertrains are the product of Mazda's ongoing Sustainable Zoom-Zoom strategy. These technologies are about a year away from launch, and are being developed using unique innovative Mazda engineering spirit. The SKY-G (gasoline-based) and SKY-D (diesel-based) concept engines will deliver the sporty driving experience that Mazda is known for, coupled to superior eco-friendliness. Fuel economy will improve 15 percent on the SKY-G and 20 percent on the SKY-D, with a simultaneous increase in torque.

Another key element of the SKY Concept is the all new SKY-Drive automatic transmission. SKY-Drive is a unique six-speed automatic transmission that offers driving feel comparable to a dual clutch transmission, while also improving fuel economy by five percent compared to Mazda's current automatic six-speed transmission.

These new eco-friendly products – combined with weight reductions of 100 kg (220 lbs.) on next-generation vehicles, improved aerodynamic design to reduce drag, and the introduction of electric devices like the fuel-saving stop/start system called i-stop (currently available in Japan and Europe) – will help Mazda meet its stated goal of improving the average fuel economy of its global line-up by 30 percent, with a drop in CO2 emissions of 23 percent (compared to 2008) by the year 2015. And because the combination of these developments improves the basic performance of all products in the Mazda line-up, it will make eco-friendliness available to all Mazda customers, not just a select few who buy a niche product.

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the United States in 2010, Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, when?

      There is a current issue with diesel production, the fuel that is. Seems that the same materials are needed in other petroleum distillates that generate more money. So the question is, will diesel keep going up?

      Still I want to know when we get this engine, 2012? If so... pass
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is everyone all hoo-rah on diesels? They clatter, they don't rev very high, and it seems they have problems with their heater on cold days (Automobile Long-Term Road Test, Jetta TDI).

      I fear this is just part of the backlash against hybrids...but who cares what other people drive? I'm not buying a hybrid OR a diesel. They both suck.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, plenty of big V8s don't rev very high, either, and they're enthusiast-approved.

        In normal driving situations, a modern 4-cylinder turbodiesel drives like a big V6 or even a small V8 that runs out of steam at about 4500. But, you don't go above that in normal driving situations anyway...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah that still doesn't answer why one is better than a hybrid for the fuel-conscious consumer. Especially when diesel emits more CO2 per gallon.

        And do YOU want a diesel? Aren't we car enthusiasts on this site? Who wants a tractor motor?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The heater problem is a quick fix VW sends it equiped with an electric heater in Canada, the same could be done for the US market. And have you driven a modern TDI because I have yet to hear one rattle and they are quite popular in my area. In facct my neighbour has one and he didnt have any troubles ever even in -20 C below weather.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boy, this 40 MPG on the highway is fast losing its appeal, everyone is announcing cars that will cross that mark.

      Wonderful news as far as i am concerned. Of course all this means is that hybrids are going to have to rebuild the gap between themselves and conventional cars. Maybe 80 MPG Prius???????
      • 5 Years Ago
      stop using 'hybrid like' for diesel fuel economy
      • 5 Years Ago
      No Urea? Drop this in the Mazda 3 Hatch and I would be very interested.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hate to be a pessimist, but unless Mazda plans to re-merge the two 6's again, I feel like this diesel is going to be for the international (i.e. non-USDM) 6.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is really nice! I drove in my friends turbo diesel jetta and these things have tons of torque around the city. and the awesome mpg is great!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see it. Honda and Subaru both said they would sell diesels cars in the US, and both backed out. The only ones who do are German: VW, Audi, BMW and maybe Mercedes (I haven't checked recently). Until they are sitting on dealer lots, this is nothing more than a press release.

      Don't get me wrong - I really hope Mazda does this. I've just gotten very skeptical. I would buy a diesel Outback today if it was available.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's about time Mazda starts to concentrate on their engine offerings. They have great designs, nice interiors, sporty chassis but lack luster engine offerings that only pale to their over all designs. Good news for us Mazda fans!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now Mazda needs to one-up themselves and offer a 6 wagon again, with the diesel. ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        seconded on the 6-sp stick :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sign me up for a diesel B-Series/Ranger.
        • 5 Years Ago
        and a 6-speed manual!
        • 5 Years Ago
        They can they go ahead and make a diesel MazdaSpeed6 as well. I would be okay with that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or at least another 5-door hatch variant in the NA market!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sign me up for a diesel 6 wagon or h'back. Just don't load it up with standard equipment like sat/nav or leather to drive the price through the roof!
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1 on that!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd really like something AWD with a diesel, and not a full-size SUV.

      Think you can help me out Mazda?
      • 5 Years Ago
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