It is all about fuel economy right now, and the automakers are pulling out all the stops to ensure they might weather the stiffening CAFE standards in the coming years. Electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, diesels… all are about to become a lot more commonplace. Yet, still, there remains a seat at the table for fuel-efficient combustion engines, and there is plenty of room for improvement in the old standby.
Forgoing much of the hybrid craze, Mazda is focusing on clean petrol and diesel engines. And their work has not gone unrewarded. Comments from spokesmen suggest that the compact Mazda3 with a SKY-G engine got around 40 mpg on the highway. Not too shabby!
40 mpg out of a compact seems to be where most automakers are setting their goals. The new Ford Fiesta gets around 40 mpg on the highway, and the Chevy Cruze gets 36 mpg. Toyota’s compact Corolla even gets around 35 mpg on the highway. A few years ago, these numbers were all but unfathomable save for the Prius elite. Yet even without the costly hybrid drivetrain, regular compact cars are getting gas mileage that rivals many hybrids.
Mazda has not yet confirmed that the Mazda3 will indeed get the SKY-G engine. Mazda is developing several SKY engines, including one that runs on gas (G) and one that runs on diesel (D) that will also be coming to the U.S. A turbodiesel is also likely to be added to their lineup in the mid-size segment (Mazda6), which means other automakers should pay close attention. Mazda is going a different route from other car manufacturers, pumping out the combustion engine before striding into technologies that may or may not catch on with the public. They plan to increase their fleetwide fuel efficiency by 30% over the next seven years using more efficient engine technologies.
Source: Green Car Advisor | Image: Mazda