Modern turbodiesel engines are all the rave in Europe and the rest of the world, but these engines are only just starting to catch on in America. The new Mazda SkyActiv-D diesel engine is coming to U.S. shores next year, and to drum up excitement, Mazda is taking their little diesel to the race track.
Electric cars may not go very far, and CNG vehicles are still quite expensive, but there is another option for drivers seeking something fuel-efficient, fun, and most importantly, clean. The answer are clean diesel engines, which are torquey, efficient, and much cleaner burning than one would think. On the EPA cycle, the 2.2 turbodiesel engine could return as high as 60 mpg on the highway, though it’ll probably be closer to 50-ish.
The 2.2 liter Mazda diesel engine debuted in the new 2014 Mazda6 sedan at the L.A. Auto Show, and will be for sale starting next year. In stock form this engine makes between 148 and 173 horsepower (in high-output guise), and from 280 ft-lbs of torque all the way up to 310 ft-lbs of torque, available at just 2,000 RPM. Impressive numbers, though Mazda managed to extract up to 400 horsepower from the racing version that will debut next year in the new Grand Am GX-class. Just listen to this engine roar!
Now call me crazy, but I would love to get my hands on one of those race-prepped diesels, and drop it into something wild…like say a ‘65 Mustang. Sure, a Mustang is best known for its big V8 engines…but all that torque in a lightweight and classic-looking package would be killer. Which begs the question…will Mazda dare put a diesel into the Miata MX-5? That would be ambitious and daring and absolutely awesome lovely, as would a diesel-powered Mazda 6 station wagon.
The 2014 Mazda6 will launch with a 184 horsepower gas engine, with the diesel following mid-year. Anybody else putting the Mazda6 diesel on their watch list?