Mazda’s Skyactiv D, Diesel Technology, the Economy of a Hybrid With Performance!
By Mike Kojima
What would you think of a clean green car with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid, the performance of a relatively peppy gasoline engine and without the lifecycle costs to the environment of its battery pack? The car would be cheap to operate and relatively exciting to drive. Would you buy one if you could? If this sounds like you next car purchase, this technology is coming just around the corner in the form of Mazda’s new diesel technology called Skyactiv D.
|We got to drive these heavily disguised 2012 Mazda 6 prototype mules in city and highway driving to get a good feel for Skyactiv D technology. We were pretty impressed.|
You might have read about Mazda’s gas engine green technology called Skyativ G here a little while ago, if not you can read all about it here. Skyactiv is some sort of Jinglish for Mazda’s latest design methodology called Jinba Ittai which roughly means fun to drive in English. This is a design methodology which makes cars nimbler and more responsive through improving throttle response through improvements in engine technology and mass reduction. It also calls for economical operation to please the customers pocketbook and greeness for environmental responsibility.
|The Skyactiv D engine has a low for a diesel 14:1 compression. For instance, Project TDI has a 16.5:1 compression ratio. Lower compression means less internal pressure for less stress and less friction. The lower pressure means that the engine can use a lightweight alloy block and lighter internal parts for more than 50 lbs of weight saving over the previous engine. Cool beans.|
In our last look at Skyactiv technology we evaluated the gas version of the Skyactiv engine family and were impressed with its economy and cost of use. Its performance left us sorta impressed which means that we were pleasantly surprised that the engine was reasonably peppy feeling for all of its economy. The Skyactiv G engine was by no means a barnstormer for performance freaks, it was more like, “yeah this is pretty decent considering it gets 40 mpg”. Considering its fuel sipping capabilities we were left wanting the Skyactiv G as a daily driver.
|Partly to save weight and partly to conserve a diesel's low exhaust energy to help spool the turbo, the Skyactiv D engine has the exhaust manifold integrated with the cylinder head. As you can see here, at least the passages are designed for flow in a better way than your typical log manifold.|
|The front drives are integral for compactness and low NVH.|