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Mazda Focuses on Future With Vision Coupe and Kai Concept

Twin crystal balls offer a hint of what’s to come out of Hiroshima.

by on Oct.25, 2017

The Mazda Vision Coupe: the shape of things to come?

Mazda has never been shy about looking into the future. Over the years, it has signaled its design direction with a series of striking concept vehicles – and this year is no exception, though the small Japanese automaker is actually presenting two crystal-balls-on-wheels at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

One of these show cars offers a relatively near-term view of things to come, the Kai Concept believed to be hewing closely to what we’ll see with the next-generation Mazda3 hatchback. It picks up on what the automaker calls “a more mature expression” of the design language first introduced with the Kodo concept in 2010.

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Pushing the proverbial envelope a step further is the Mazda Vision Coupe, a striking, long-nosed prototype that would be impressive even if unveiled by such European luxury brands as BMW or Audi. Says Mazda, it “embodies a minimalist Japanese aesthetic, achieving a simple ‘one-motion’ form that conveys a sense of speed.”

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Mazda To Launch Breakthrough Homogeneous Compression Engine

Skyactiv-X said to combine best of diesel, gas engines, including hybrid level mileage.

by on Aug.08, 2017

Mazda reportedly will use the new HCCI engine technology in the next Mazda3 model.

Just days after Mazda announced plans to partner with Toyota on the development and production of new battery-electric vehicles, the smaller automaker said it is getting ready to launch a new breakthrough gasoline engine that could give hybrids a run for the money.

Known as a homogeneous charge compression ignition, or HCCI, engine, what Mazda plans to call the Skyactiv-X has been a long-held goal of many major manufacturers for decades. It essentially combines the best aspects of gas and diesel engines to deliver, among other things, extremely good mileage with low emissions.

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“We think it is an imperative and fundamental job for us to pursue the ideal internal combustion engine,” Mazda R&D head Kiyoshi Fujiwara told reporters in Japan on Tuesday. “Electrification is necessary but,” he added, “the internal combustion engine should come first.”

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A Diesel Running on Gasoline is Just as Sweet

By using compression ignition, a gasoline-fueled engine can be as efficient as an oil burner, and maybe less expensive.

by on May.21, 2009

Members of the GM's HCCI team preparing a prototype engine for testing.

Members of the GM's HCCI team preparing a prototype engine for testing.

The battle between the Otto cycle and the Diesel cycle in auto engines goes back more than 100 years. Diesels have a fuel economy advantage, roughly 20%, compared to traditional gasoline engines largely because of a higher compression ratio needed to ignite the fuel and the elimination of “pumping losses” caused during the intake stroke of a gasoline engine when it is operating at partial throttle.

However, the fuel injection system of a diesel and the heavier components required to hold up to the higher pressures make it much more expensive – these days thousands of dollars more – than a gasoline engine. Tighter emissions laws on cancer-causing particulate matter are adding to the expense and reducing fuel economy. Also, diesel fuel doesn’t ignite as readily as gasoline, which makes cold starting problematic.

As automakers continue the unending quest for greater fuel efficiency, a hybrid combination of diesel and gasoline engines is being studied to see if the best characteristics of both can be obtained.

One such initiative is going on at General Motors where a homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine is under study. An HCCI engine, when combined with other advanced technologies, can provide up to 15% greater fuel economy than a comparable, non-HCCI engine by using the diesel combustion process.

“HCCI delivers enhanced fuel savings without sacrificing the performance consumers have come to expect,” said Dr. Uwe Grebe, executive director for GM Powertrain Advanced Engineering.    (more…)