When the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D hits the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway later today, it will mark the first running a diesel powered race car at the famous circuit since the Cummins Diesel Special competed in the 1952 Indianapolis 500.
While the two cars are radically different, Mazda says both embrace the idea of "testing production technology in the harshest of environments." The company goes on to say a fuel-efficient engine can "mean the difference between winning and losing as fewer pit stops can often determine the winner in endurance races."
So far, the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D has been pretty successful as it has managed to claim four wins and two second place finishes in the GRAND-AM GX class.
As we have previously reported, the car features a 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that develops 400 bhp (298 kW) and 445 lb-ft (602 Nm) of torque. Despite being substantially more powerful than the standard 2.2-liter engine, Mazda says it is 51% stock by parts count and 63% stock by weight.