Mazda’s next-generation SkyActiv internal-combustion engine will be clean burning and efficient enough to compete with electric motors, in terms of environmental impact, said the company’s officer in charge of powertrains. Mitsuo Hitomi told business publication Automotive News that the SkyActiv-3 engine will have about 27 percent greater thermal efficiency than the upcoming SkyActiv-X iteration that’s also still under development. Mazda began the SkyActiv program in 2007 and said it improved overall miles-per-gallon consumption by 30 percent without resorting to hybrid or gasoline-electric technology. SkyActiv-X is the next stage in optimizing internal combustion and uses engine compression for ignition instead spark plugs. “Mazda says it will improve efficiency 20 to 30 percent over SkyActiv-G, itself a 35-45 percent improvement over a pre-SkyActiv Mazda engine,” Automotive News wrote.

Mazda’s upcoming SkyActiv-X engine, pictured, is a stepping stone to the new SkyActiv-3 technology that is said to rival electric motors for overall environmental impact. (PHOTO: MAZDA)

Mazda says new combustion engine could be as clean as EVs: