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Mazda hasn't even puts its Skyactiv-X engine technology on sale yet, but the automaker has already started working on next major internal combustion innovations, dubbed Skyactiv 3. By boosting the powerplant's thermal efficiency to around 56 percent, the company figures that the mill would have well-to-wheel emissions on par with an EV, according to Automotive News

Mazda makes this claim based on the carbon dioxide emissions from producing electricity for charging an EV against from pumping oil out of the ground and refining it into gasoline. The problem with this calculation is that there are a variety of ways to produce electricity, and they produce vastly different amounts of CO2. For example, an area getting power from renewable sources would be far cleaner than a region with a coal-fired powerplant.

Mazda doesn't know exactly when the Skyactiv 3 engines would be ready for market, but the company believes that they would reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent, according to Automotive News.

Gallery: Mazda3 Spied Testing Skyactiv-X Engine

Meanwhile, the Skyactiv-X technology will be ready to hit showrooms within a few years. The system will be the first compression-ignition gasoline engine to be on sale to the public. This process will use compress the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder until it explodes, like a diesel. The tech will boost fuel economy by 20 to 30 percent and improve torque by 10 to 20 percent by a conventional 2.0-liter engine running on 87-octane fuel. as the opportunity to drive a pre-production Mazda3 and wrote: "But what’s most impressive from the driver’s seat is that the 2.0-liter feels… normal. Responsive and calm, it revs easily, with strong low-end power and a very direct-feeling torque curve as revs rise. In most situations, there are no real giveaways that anything is different."

Mazda doesn't have all its bets on combustion engines, though. Even the Skyactiv-X mills are mild hybrids, and the company intends to introduce a full EV in 2020. A plug-in hybrid would arrive in 2021.

Source: Automotive News

Gallery: Mazda SkyActiv-X Prototype: First Drive

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