Diesel's days aren't over quite yet.
Electric and hybrid technology in automobiles is advancing rapidly, filling the fuel economy void left by diesel engines in the post-Dieselgate automotive landscape. There’s an automaker pledging to expand its diesel stake, however, and it's not part of the Volkswagen conglomerate. According to a report from Autocar, Mazda is planning to take a larger step into diesel’s direction.
It’s certainly an unlikely turn of events, even without the steady progression of battery-electric powertrains. Mazda offers a 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D twin-turbo diesel in its CX-5 crossover, though in the U.S. market it’s only available on the up-spec Signature series with a sky-high starting price of $41,000. The SkyActiv-D is slated to make its way to the Mazda6 sedan in the future, but Autocar quotes Mazda’s European research and development boss Christian Schultze as saying an all-new diesel mill is coming next year.
“We are sticking to diesel engines,” he said, according to Autocar. “In 2020 we have a new approach to diesel engines. We will show you how clean and very efficient diesel engines can be.”
Gallery: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel
Of course, Mazda made waves with its SkyActiv-X engine earlier this year, which basically combines the standard spark-ignition system of a standard gasoline mill with the compression-ignition design of a diesel. It runs on gasoline, and while its power output of 177 horsepower (132 kilowatts) and 165 pound-feet (224 Newton-meters) of torque isn’t dramatic, the engine gets a mileage rating of approximately 44 miles per gallon in Europe. That’s rather impressive, and while the report doesn’t offer details on Mazda’s new diesel, we wouldn’t be surprised to see similar technology at play.
In the meantime, Mazda isn’t ignoring the electric world. The automaker has been slow to the table with regards to electrification, but its first mass-produced EV is slated to debut next week ahead of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.