Mazda RX-8 R3 - Click above for high-res image gallery
Mazda's previously announced promise to boost the fuel efficiency of its fleet of cars and trucks by 30 percent will officially kick off in the year 2011 as the Japanese automaker releases a new series of efficient powertrains, starting with its best-selling 2.0-liter four cylinder engine. That revised powerplant will be hooked up to a new six-speed automatic transmission for even greater fuel savings, gaining 10 miles per gallon in both city (from 22 to 32 mpg) and highway (from 32 to 42 mpg).
Automotive News (sub. req'd) suggests that either the next-gen MX-5 or Mazda5 would be likely initial candidates for the new powerplant combination. Also on the way is a revised version of the long-running Wankel rotary engine, which is rumored to feature a displacement increase along with direct injection. Six-cylinder engines will continue to be sourced from Ford.
Seita Kanai, head of Mazda's eco-friendly movement, says that the 30-percent efficiency boost doesn't include advancements the automaker is making into stop/start, regenerative braking or hybrid technology. Finally, Mazda says it is studying the U.S. market to determine if there's a reason to bring diesel engines Stateside. Might we suggest a meeting of the minds with Volkswagen?
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd]