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Mazda isn’t Wankeling around this time

2 views of cork cells from – Micrographia: or, Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses: with observations and inquiries thereupon, Robert Hooke, M.A., Fellow of the Royal Society, 1665

Mazda is at it again. The auto manufacturer – famous for its rotary engines – has moved on to breeding hybrid compression/spark ignition engines.

Set to debut in 2019, Skyactiv-X is Mazda’s next-generation engine that uses Spark Controlled Compression Ignition. In other words, it’s a homogenous charge compression ignition engine sometimes, but it seamlessly changes over to a regular spark-ignition engine under certain engine operating conditions.

In other words, a gasoline engine that behaves like a diesel engine. Except when it doesn’t. Dogs and cats living together can’t be far behind.

Mazda hasn’t released mileage estimates yet but it has released some numbers.

Mazda claims the engine is 20 to 30 percent more efficient than its current gas engines, and at least as efficient, if not more so, than its diesel engines.

This Skyactiv-X is part of Mazda’s goofily titled “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” plan that includes a shift toward electric cars beginning in 2019. But Mazda knows EVs won’t dominate the market anytime soon, and this engineering breakthrough suggests the auto industry isn’t quite done improving internal combustion.

It makes sense that auto manufacturers would continue to work on cleaner, more efficient fuel burning cars. The technology for electric autos – including places to plug in the all electrics – is still very much a work in progress. Loomis has written at length about the dirty business of clean emissions.

Also, bragging rights.

On the topic of cars of the future, here is the Mercedes-Maybach 6, an all-electric 18 footer that should be spared come the revolution. Assuming they’re in production by then.

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