Race teams in the Grand Am GX class can now get their hands on a new diesel powerplant. Mazda has announced the company will supply the new Skyactiv-D for the 2013 season. The race engines will use a stock 2.2-liter block with a two-stage turbo, just like the production version. Redline sits at a relatively lofty 5,200 rpm and the engine uses a very low 14:1 compression ratio. If you're keeping track, that's the lowest diesel compression ratio in the world.

Mazda says the Skyactiv-D is a full 10 percent lighter than the outgoing 2.2-liter MZR-CD diesel and that it generates up to 20 percent better fuel economy, as well. That's partially thanks to a 20 percent reduction in internal friction.

The Grand AM GX class is just for advanced and clean drivetrain technologies. So far, Mazda hasn't released any information on how much power race teams can expect to glean from the diesel mill, but the standard production unit is good for 173 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque and a gloriously-low 2,000 rpm. Check out the full press release for yourself. If you need us, we'll be busily daydreaming about a diesel-powered MX-5 Miata.
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Mazda to Make New SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Engines Available for GRAND-AM's New Advanced Technology Racing Class

June 1, 2012 (DETROIT) Mazda Motorsports today announced that it will supply racing versions of its new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engines to customer teams competing in GRAND-AM's new GX Class for advanced/clean technologies, beginning with the 2013 season.

"This opens a new chapter in racing for us," said Jay Amestoy, Vice President of Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "We've won with rotary technology, and now we're looking to again put our customers in the winner's circle with what we believe will be the most advanced and cleanest production-based powerplant the sport has ever seen."

The engines will be stock-block Mazda SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged powerplants that, according to John Doonan, MNAO's Director of Mazda Motorsports, "will deliver outstanding performance and fuel economy coupled with the kind of quality, durability and reliability needed to produce great street cars and win endurance races."

Mazda remains the only Asian auto maker committed to bringing modern clean-diesel technology to the United States. The production Mazda SKYACTIV-D features include:

14:1 low compression ratio
New two-stage turbocharger
A 5,200 rpm redline
Compared to Mazda's current-production 2.2L MZR-CD diesel engine:
Up to 20% reduction in fuel consumption
20% reduction in internal engine friction
10% reduction in weight

Mazda Motorsports is noted for many things, including grassroots dominance in road racing, and being the only Asian car company with an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its David and Goliath approach -- supported by unique powertrains, devoted teams and drivers, and sales of parts to all who wish to compete -- has made Mazda one of the most successful brands in motorsports.

Since 2007, Mazda has been competing with great success in the GRAND-AM GT class with the rotary-powered RX-8. Mazda racers have secured manufacturers, team and drivers championships, along with 2008 and 2010 GT-class wins by the SpeedSource RX-8 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. With the RX-8 no longer in production for the U.S. market, Mazda needed a new challenge.

SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY will allow Mazda to chart its own path in racing, showcasing the latest in fuel-efficient, powerful and clean powertrains.

The engines are being developed jointly by Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda North American Operations and SpeedSource Engineering. Dyno testing has already begun and on-track testing begins in late 2012. Engine pricing and terms will be announced at a later date.

The actual Mazda model in which the SKYACTIV-D racing engine will be installed will be announced after the conclusion of the 2012 GRAND-AM racing season.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can go ahead and dream about a diesel Miata while I dream about a 2.3 DISI Turbo Miata.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Indeed. As a 3-time owner, I'd rather gouge my eyes out than drive a miata that can't rev over 5000 rpm. Save the diseasel for family sedans and CUVs.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same thing! As much as I like diesels, if the car is lightweight and doesn't need the torque, what's the point? In a Miata, I'd much rather have revs and HP.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess I don't understand what the hold up here in the US when it comes to offering diesel engines. Is it the EPA? I read all these articles about how awesome they are, how fuel efficient they are, how much torque they spin, and yet it might as well be cold fusion because it's not widely offered here. And while I am not a fan of 4 cylinder engines, if one can kick out over 300 on the torque line and offer great MPG, drop one in my Jeep Commander right now!!! What gives?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Emissions, mainly. The requirements are so strict (and opposing) that most engines end up being tuned to run less efficiently, and then piss fuel down the tailpipe into aftertreatment systems.
          • 2 Years Ago
          It's not the emissions. Diesel Skyctive conforms to the yet to be deployed Euro 6 emission norm - without a solid particle filter. That thingy is what most other diesels, including VWs TDI for example, sold in Europe sport to conform to the current Euro 5. Which means that if the VW's TDI conforms to both the Euro 5 and whatever norm there is in the US, Skyactive must be able, by definition, conform to the US standards (at least without much tweaking) A case study: Gray market for US imports of VWs to Europe is rather big and people regularly service US versions of TDIs in Europe where imported cars have to undergo an emission test. That means that the US TDIs do conform to Euro 5.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Instead of speculating on why the low compression just get the answer from mazda: http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/skyactiv/engine/skyactiv-d.html
      Rental Rep
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please post some more high-res pictures of that engine!
      • 2 Years Ago
      mazda should be out of business by now...why kick a dead dog!!!
      Jonathan Arena
      • 2 Years Ago
      GX class? Wtf god I am so sick of freaking auto racing. Its so pointlessly complicated it's boring.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Arena
        Wrong place to complain about racing. And no one is forcing you to remember each and every racing series, there's no test at the end of the week.
      john m
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder if lowering the compression ratio was ONE of the ways they reduced internal friction but then artificially increased the compression ratio with the 2 stage turbo. It sounds like a really good engine.
        john m
        • 2 Years Ago
        @john m
        I wonder how much boost they're running with?
      • 2 Years Ago
      The technology sounds impressive, but they have got to get a better name for it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I want a diesel CX-5 with height adjustable suspension for dirt road excursions.
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