Mazda still really wants to bring diesels to America

Mazda's Skyactiv program has delivered much of what it promised for the brand's latest crop of products, namely great fuel economy and excellent driving dynamics. However, the Skyactiv diesel engine has yet to reach our shores. It's been promised ever since the new Mazda6 showed up here for the 2014 model year.

According to a new report from Automotive News, Mazda's CEO Masamichi Kogai said that the Mazda Skyactiv D diesel powertrain is still set to make an American appearance. He told Automotive News that there is an internal timeline to get it to the States, and while he didn't reveal the timeline, he said he wants it to come here before he steps down as CEO. The powertrain is offered elsewhere, so it fits in the company's current vehicles, but the US has specific regulatory hurdles, and the engine's extra cost has to make sense from a sales and volume perspective. We doubt VW's diesel scandal helped the engine's sales pitch, either.

Automotive News also reports that the next generation of Skyactiv designs and engines are also on their way and will advance and improve on the current generation's strengths. Engineers revealed to Automotive News that they expect a 30 percent improvement in efficiency and are developing an engine with the sky-high compression ratio of 18:1. This impressive ratio could be a further indication of Mazda's pursuit of homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines.

Mazda has had plenty of success with its strategy of making very efficient internal-combustion engines, but there are some concerns that the company can only improve so much. The main worry comes from the company's lack of investment in hybrid and electric powertrains. Even Mazda's North American CEO Masahiro Moro expressed concern about meeting a 54.5 mpg mandate for 2025. That mandate will no longer take effect, but increasing fuel economy requirements will always be an issue.

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