Mazda-SkyActiv 001

Hybridisation of its road cars is not what Mazda aims for going forward. According to Autocar UK, Mazda is instead committed towards delivering a further 30% improvement in fuel economy by 2020 from its conventional engines under the ‘SkyActiv’ brand.

Jeff Guyton, Mazda’s European president, told the publication that hybridisation is ultimately going to permeate into every road car, but for the time being he feels that ultra efficient SkyActiv engines remain the best bet.

“I’ve driven prototypes of our next-generation engines, and they are everything you’d hope for in power and smoothness,” said Guyton. He went on to explain that these next-generation engines have even wider power bands than current models and that they do not need expensive multi-speed transmissions as they are perfectly compatible with orthodox six-speed gearboxes.

“We have a real passion for efficient combustion,” said Guyton to the publication. “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?” he added.

Interestingly, Mazda recently patented a range extender with a baby ‘Wankel’ rotary engine as the generator motor and in a related development, Mazda’s president, Masamichi Kogai, also told the publication at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show that the company has a special engineering team that is solely focused on rotary engine development.


He said the team is working diligently to elevate the technology to be on par with modern piston engines. Autocar UK speculates that a successor to the RX-8 could even appear by 2018, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic RX-7. But as we reported back in November of 2014, this may not be happening after all. But it’s always nice to live in hope though.

It should be noted that we reported on an alliance between Toyota and Mazda back in May this year, and the speculation back then was one Toyota providing fuel-cell and hybrid technology to Mazda, while Mazda will transfer its know-how of Skyactiv petrol and diesel technology with Toyota. Currently, Toyota already supplies its Hybrid Synergy Drive system for the Japanese market Mazda 3 Hybrid. It’s essentially the same system as one found in the Prius but Mazda uses its own combustion engine.

So it remains to be seen just how Mazda will go about its hybridization process in its upcoming models. To put things in perspective, a whole bunch of automakers are going down the hybridization path not just for better fuel economy but also for performance. Companies like Mercedes, Renault, Volvo, BMW and Porsche are all looking into it, and one can only feel that Mazda will join suit, but just how exactly are they going to pull it off? As they say, the devil will be in the details.