It’s now approaching six months since the Mazda6 diesel was supposed to debut in America, with the problems being blamed on a lack of zoom-zoom and low oil levels. The Truth About Cars is now reporting that the delay may come down to a need for a diesel after-treatment to meet emissions regulations, which could delay the Mazda6 diesel another year.
An anonymous source told TTAC that the treatment-free SkyActiv-D engine couldn’t meet American emissions standards while providing enough power for consumer expectations, forcing Mazda engineers to go back to the drawing board. European automakers like Mercedes have had similar problems, which led to the addition of after-treatment solutions applied to engine emissions to reduce NOx and soot particulates.
Now Mazda is trying an unspecified aftertreatment solution to help its diesel engine meet both emissions standards and the needed-output to sate Mazda fans. It’s a delicate tightrope act that automakers have to walk in order to appease customers and government regulators, and it will be another year before a diesel Mazda makes its way to America. The Mazda diesel racing campaign will be close to ending its third season before you can actually buy a diesel Mazda, and I fear much of the initial momentum behind the campaign is already lost. Or it could give Mazda a second chance to make a lasting motorsports impact with its diesel powertrains and rekindle effort in a long lusted-after diesel drivetrain. That leaves just the SkyActv-G and i-ELOOP supercapacitor system to provide the wanted fuel economy improvements.
I’m still looking forward to some seat time in the Mazda6 diesel, but will it come soon enough to appease the EPA?