Mazda like most other manufacturers today has been looking towards electric technology, but unlike other manufacturers, Mazda does not deem the existence of electric to be the end of internal combustion. Internal combustion is the typical engine format we have been using for many years, including petrol and diesel engines.
Even after all these years of constant development and pushing for the best fuel efficiency possible, Mazda continues to make strides into what is possible with internal combustion petrol engines.
Why Not Diesel?
Diesel has a better fuel economy than the typical petrol engine, which is exactly what Skyactiv X has set out to achieve. A diesel like torque nature with diesel levels of economy on a petrol-based engine. Why not just use a diesel engine and achieve better fuel economy from there? Well, there are actually a few reasons.
- Pollution – It’s an old standing myth that diesel emits more Co2 than petrol, when in actual fact the emissions are actually quite similar between the two. The problem comes in at the emission of black carbon and other organic matter we refer to as soot. On average, diesels emit at least 25 times more soot for the same distance of driving than comparable petrol. Soot is not only terrible for human health, but also promotes global warming.
- Compression – The reason diesel is so fuel efficient is that diesel runs at an extremely high compression ratio, allowing it to produce more torque per ignition cycle. If we could match the compression ratio with petrol, the fuel economy would likely be the same.
- Alternative fuels – Alternative fuels such as hydrogen for internal combustion and synthesized petrol operate extremely similarly to normal petrol. Any consumption related technology used on petrol will likely be usable with future alternative fuels. Diesel on the other hand is technically an oil and no synthesized fuels can match its stability or viscosity.
What Is Skyactiv X?
Skyactiv X takes technology cues from diesel and manages to implement them reliably into petrol motors, allowing for better fuel consumption and torque than a typical petrol motor is capable of. It sounds simple in theory but is a lot of complicated work.
The reason diesel motors have an increased amount of torque and better fuel consumption is because of how they ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber. Diesels use compression ignition, where petrol engines make use of a spark. Compression ignition is near instantaneous, allowing for much higher instant compression and a huge increase in torque, where spark ignition takes a lot longer to lignite all the fuel in the combustion chamber.
The Skyactiv X uses a secondary small fuel injector and a spark to create a small destination in the combustion chamber. This small destination is not to lignite the air fuel mixture, but to increase the compression in the combustion chamber, allowing petrol to go through compression ignition and ignite in the same instant fashion as diesel does. This gives the small Skyactiv X diesel like torque and fuel economy, while still using petrol.
Why Isn’t Everybody Doing It?
Unlike the technology used in games at Big Dollar Online Casino or other applications, Skyactiv X is still very much under a work in progress. All we can hope is that Mazda continues to refine this technology to bring us a truly sustainable version of internal combustion.