Currently reading: Mazda remains committed to frugal Skyactiv technology
Japanese company's European boss rules out hybrids and reveals plans for a further 30 per cent gains in fuel economy from Skyactiv

Mazda is forging ahead with its strategy of developing the efficiency of its conventional engines under the Skyactiv banner rather than adopting hybridisation and plans to deliver a further 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy by 2020, according to European president Jeff Guyton.

Mazda engineers believe its next-generation engines can have even wider power bands than the current models. “I’ve driven prototypes of our next-generation engines, and they are everything you’d hope for in power and smoothness,” said Guyton.

He said Mazda’s Skyactiv engines don’t require the expensive multi-speed transmissions needed by other lean-burn engines and work well with a conventional six-speed gearbox.

“We have a real passion for efficient combustion,” said Guyton. “You could equate it to the passion we have for the Mazda MX-5 sports car. There’s huge heat wastage in conventional engines: surely it’s better to do something constructive about that then adding weight with extra power units?”

Guyton pointed out that Mazda doesn’t deny that electric propulsion will eventually arrive - it recently patented a range extender with a baby Wankel engine as the generator motor - but it feels super efficient conventional engines provide the best solution for now and the near future.

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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

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