Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Daihatsu have announced an alliance that will see a push to improve fuel economy from both gas-powered and diesel-powered engines by as much as 30 percent before the end of the decade.

The newly assembled Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines put the roughly $20-million project together, with the Japanese government committing to half the cost while the eight manufacturers will chip in the rest.

According to Automotive News, the automakers will team up and share basic research on internal-combustion engines in a bid to cut costs. Eventually, the results of the research will find its way into a production vehicle, although it's unclear just when we'll see the fruits of this partnership on the road.

While the manufacturers have aimed to make improvements by 2020, that goal is part of a larger, 10-year road map, which aims to improve the thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines to 50 percent. Currently, thermal efficiency in gas engines is at 39 percent while diesel is at 42.

The actual targets of improvements will be quite different based on the type of engine. Diesel mills, traditionally a weak point for Japanese manufacturers, will see a focus on reducing NOX emissions and particulate matter, while gas engines will aim for more complete combustion cycles while reducing knock.


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  • 52 Comments
      Lewis
      • 6 Months Ago
      How about combining forces to develop and manufacture lighter/stronger materials throughout the model ranges? Bend the cost curve down. If you can find a few more percent in engine efficiency and combine it with a couple hundred pound reduction in weight, then you are talking! Perhaps this has or is being done?
        brandon
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Lewis
        For every 100lbs of weight reduction, the government adds 150 lbs of useless "safety equipment". Look at a Corolla from the early 90's to now, they are like 500 lbs heavier. Same with the Civic. Or the Geo Metro that can't even exist anymore. So you have to focus on ICE efficiency more because of this.
          SteveG
          • 6 Months Ago
          @brandon
          Useless? That is why fatality rates in cars are now so low?
      Camaroman101
      • 6 Months Ago
      The Big Two and Fiat really aught to collaborate as well
      Bryan Rex
      • 6 Months Ago
      in other words, they are all coming together to share trade secrets that they stole from Ford and GM.
        RM
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bryan Rex
        No Bryan, the Japanese made them better.
        cruzer
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bryan Rex
        That's how the japs got started making automobiles. Took apart american cars engines copied them and learned how to make internal combustion engines. I heard at first they were going to copy the engine from a Ford but ended up copying a Chevy engine. Then they copied the car styling from Chrysler.
          cruzer
          • 6 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          Which is a lot different than an entire machine as revolutionary as the internal combustion engine vs a category of car lol
        D210
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bryan Rex
        I sense a lot of butthurt
        chanonissan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bryan Rex
        @Bryan Rex and cruzer, you are wrong nissan got it tech from the british motor company, I have no idea about toyota, but honda also comes from european engineering.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 6 Months Ago
      More socialism from the JapanInc government to help their various government motors projects. Rightwing Americans who buy JapanInc and KoreaInc cars are hypocrites or economic ignorants about this but then they're hypocrites and economic ignorants about everything so this won't register inside their FauxNews degenerated minds
        Wm
        • 6 Months Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Yeah, and it sounds just like what those Americans did back in 93 with the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles which involved all American car companies and 8 federal agencies. Talk about your hypocrites!
      Bentot
      • 6 Months Ago
      Among this Japanese auto alliance, Mazda is ahead with the Sky-Activ Technology. Mazda has achieved near hybrid fuel efficiency on their gas engines, while abhoring the CVT trend, so common among the Japanese makes. It too is the only manufacturer that has the most manual transmission mix, among it's models. With that said, my 2014 Mazda6 Touring 6sp MT has achieved 39mpg..that is COMBINED 65%/35% fwy/city. This, without even trying..as I drive spiritedly, with a heavy right foot on the gas pedal. Mazda is currently in development of Sky-Acitv 2 for 2020, down the road...Sky-Acitv 3. "Skyactiv 2, then 3 Hitomi also outlined plans for a Skyactiv 3 lineup further in the future. That system may help Mazda comply with 2025 emissions targets. It would limit the fluctuation of heat in the combustion chamber to reduce losses from exhaust and cooling, Hitomi said. That would make more energy available for powering the wheels. He did not predict the level of increased efficiency expected from this engine family. But the goal is achieving well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emissions on a par with electric vehicles. The Skyactiv 2 engine will use homogeneous charge compression ignition, known as HCCI. That technology compresses the fuel-air mixture to such a high pressure and temperature that it ignites by itself without requiring a spark, similar to the way a diesel engine operates. HCCI allows for more complete fuel combustion and lower nitrogen oxide emissions. Mazda says HCCI would allow the company to forgo continuously variable transmissions or the need to invest in new multistage automatic transmissions. While rivals are moving to automatic transmissions with eight or more speeds, Mazda's Mazda6 flagship sedan uses a six-speed. Mazda can get by with fewer gears because its engines will be that much more efficient, it says." http://www.autonews.com/article/20140106/OEM06/301069997/mazda-pins-improved-mpg-on-skyactiv-2#axzz2pgiZ5Ghm
        DarylMc
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bentot
        Something I find interesting about the increasing number of gears available is the previous VW Golf and Polo Bluemotion range which almost always has a 5 speed manual gearbox over the regular vehicles 6 speed manual. They had excellent improvements to fuel economy figures over the regular models and I think partly due to gear ratio selection. I have a VW UP and I think it has been quite optimised for efficiency but the gear ratios don't exactly suit the regular hustle and bustle of city driving. EV's have the chance to be far superior for city use compared to a gas engine trying to squeeze every drop of efficiency from gasoline. When or if they will ever be cheaper than a gas vehicle I cant say. But as gas or diesel engines and their transmissions get more and more complex I don't think it can be that far away.
        chanonissan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bentot
        Because mazda is here you really think they are ahead, things you need to look at. Is this technology new? no it is not. what is skyactiv? it is a atkinson cycle engine with DI and high compression. has anyone else have ever done this? yes nissan in 2009. With what engine ? the HR1.2DDR, it is a DI engine consist of miller cycle and atkinson cylce with high compression of 13:1, and a supercharger. When the supercharger is on it is in the miller cycle, when the supercharge is off, it is in the atkinson cycle. Next question who else did? BMW in 1996.
        chanonissan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bentot
        And a other thing most company is working on HCCI not only mazda.As I say none of these are new Tech, other company went the cheaper route that is all. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/10/honda_making_si.html http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/08/nissan-provides.html
      AGSHOP
      • 6 Months Ago
      EV'S were never the answer. Just a STOP GAP. Fuel cells are future but we needed the time that EV's are buying to develop fuel cells.
        Grendal
        • 6 Months Ago
        @AGSHOP
        Fuel cells have been developing for a long time. I have hopes that fuel cells will end up doing something but so far there has been lots of testing and little else. Let's just say you had $100K right now to go buy a fuel cell car. Can you do it? The answer is still no. Even if you could buy one of the Hyundai's or Toyota's that just came off the boat, would it be a compelling and impressive car that compares to another $100K car out there? The answer is still no. Could you drive your new HFCV to Idaho? The answer is still no. Is there some compelling reason to get rid of your gas car and make the switch to HFCV other than for environmental reasons? The answer is still no. So I appreciate your enthusiasm. I'd like you give me convince me why your statement is anything other than your personal dream.
      Fadic4
      • 6 Months Ago
      Man if only Isuzu wasn't in bed with GM atm they would be a great edition to this group since they designed some of the best diesels ever (duramax) and much more.
      sebringc5
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is the only way forward for inefficient I.C.E. vehicles. EV's will simply dominate them over time. But if this saves some manufactures for a few years, so be it. Like the conventional lightbulb, the consumers (and government/states to a point) will dictate which technology's succeed. All the best, Aaron Lephart www.smartcar451.com
      Dennis
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't know what people says 38mpg is the big deal about. For sometime now I have heard guys mentioned 40+ ( and I get 45) who drive Honda cars. I drive an old crx. It's not a bullet speed performer but hey it gets me there in reasonable time and safely too. The asian cars set the standard on fuel. They saved the american auto industry back in the 70's. And it shoudn't surprise anyone if they set the standard once again.
        chanonissan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dennis
        you cannot compare old cars to new cars, new cars have more restriction in tail pipe, that leads to bad fuel efficiency, your honda did not have that heavy restriction in the tailpipe, in 1995 there was the LEV, today we are at SULEV, so today 38 MPG is a big deal because in the real world some cars cannot achieve this.
        chanonissan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dennis
        And yes my 1995 nissan sentra use to get over 40 MPG and people who drives corolla also, in 2001 because of nissan new system ULEV sentra MPG drop to 36, but it was the only car certified under that regime. Hope this gives you an insight of what took place.
      lad
      • 6 Months Ago
      Well, it puts a lot of mechanical engineers to work until the better battery is mass produced by the first hundred Tesla Giga Factories. Some day ICE cars will be pictures in books, just like horse drawn block Ice wagons.
      John
      • 6 Months Ago
      American auto manufacturers need to take this very, very seriously.
        sebringc5
        • 6 Months Ago
        @John
        American company TESLA got the "drift"! All the best, Aaron Lephart www.smartcar451.com
      zizixx89
      • 6 Months Ago
      Nissan did set the bar high with a 38mpg altima and 40 sentra
        6thGear
        • 6 Months Ago
        @zizixx89
        Mazda set the bar even higher with a 40mpg Mazda6 and a 41mpg Mazda3
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