Mazda first started talking about its diesel-like self-igniting SkyActiv-X ...
Mazda first started talking about its diesel-like self-igniting SkyActiv-X gasoline engine back in January. And yet in March at the Geneva Motor Show, we just couldn’t get any more info out of them, and despite being very curious about how they plan to remove those crucial spark plugs from a system.
Now, almost five months later, Mazda’s future powertrain plan is out, and as the complement to its electrification program, the company is hoping to perfect internal combustion using a therevolutionary technology called the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition engine.
Compared to a current Skyactiv-G generation, the Skyactiv-X is said to be 20-30 percent more efficient and achieving its numbers by using compression-ignition at the lower loads.
The Skyactiv-X will also be supercharged, despite earlier reports, it retains its spark plugs for igniting air-fuel mixture under higher loads like during warm up for the full throttle running.
The theory is that while on a highway, the HCCI will use high compression to ignite like the diesel does, running the very lean mixture and reducing emissions.
But once you step on it, the X switches back to being the regular supercharged Atkinson cycle gas engine, starting the ignition process with the spark before allowing the increased pressure to heat up a cylinder and ignite the rest of the mixture without further help.
Without knowing engine’s exact specifications, three main questions remain unanswered: How can Mazda regulate the temperatures to make sure ignition happens without creating engine knock at the other end?
How smoothly will a system switch from homogeneous charge compression ignition to spark and back? A can the Miata stay naturally-aspirated? In the meantime, here is Engineering Explained with Jason Fenske telling us more about Mazda’s weapon X:
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