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Mazda is already discussing Skyactiv 3 as well

Mazda only recently started introducing its Skyactiv engines to its different vehicle models, but the automaker is already talking about the upcoming Skyactiv 2 -- and even Skyactiv 3 -- engines for the next decade and beyond. 
According to a new report from Automotive News, Mazda plans to gain 30 percent better fuel economy with its Skyactiv 2 engines, which are expected to have a 2020 release date. A 30 percent improvement in fuel economy would make the already impressive Mazda3 rise from 29/41 mpg (city/highway) in its more efficient trim to 38/53 on regular unleased gasoline.

2014 Mazda3

Mazda plans to achieve this 30 percent increase in fuel economy by improving the internal combustion of the Skyactiv 2 engines. More specifically, the Skyactiv 2 engine's compression ratio would be bumped up to 18:1 from a current level of 14:1. 
This higher compression is able to reach the same combustion temperature as the current engines, but with a leaner mix of fuel -- meaning improved fuel economy. 
The Skyactiv 2 engines will utilize homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), which compresses the fuel-air mixture to a high enough pressure and temperature that it ignites by itself without needing a spark. This allows for more complete fuel combustion and lower nitrogen oxide emissions.
However, the Automotive News report indicates that HCCI won't come easy. Engineers must first expand the range of engine speeds for HCCI specifically, because the engine revving too quickly can result in a misfire due to the high number of revolutions, and if revved too slowly, it can misfire due to low temperatures.

2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine
Aside from that, engine cooling and the engine's tendency to behave differently based on the use of different fuels need to be figured out.
The main goal with Skyactiv 2 is to meet European carbon dioxide emissions standards of 95 grams per kilometer in 2020, but Mazda is looking even further ahead at meeting Europe's standards of 65 grams per kilometer in 2025 with Skyactiv 3. 
Mazda didn't go into great detail about Skyactiv 3, but the automaker plans to make more energy available for powering the wheels by limiting the fluctuation of heat in the combustion chamber and reduce losses from exhaust and cooling. Mazda hopes to reach well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emissions with Skyactiv 3 that rival electric vehicles.
Mazda first introduced Skyactiv engines to the U.S. market in 2011, starting with the Mazda3 sedan. Since then, they've been added to the Mazda6 sedan and CX-5 crossover.
Mazda has been trying to bring the Skyactiv-D diesel engine to the U.S. via the Mazda6, and was supposed to have achieved this by the second half of 2013. However, in September of last year, it was announced that delays in emissions testing has pushed that timetable to late spring of 2014.

Source: Automotive News

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RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/6/2014 7:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
Automatics of some form are where cars are going, even in Europe. I was a staunch manual only user until the ZF 8 speed auto (and to a lesser extent, BMW's 7 speed DCT). I now have no issues giving up a manual for these excellent transmissions. As a matter of fact, my next car WILL have either a ZF 8 speed auto or dual clutch.

RE: Hmmm
By Reclaimer77 on 1/7/2014 12:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well when I was a teenager I had major reconstruction on my left knee, and it's gotten worst pretty much every year since. I think the day is coming soon where I too will be resigned to an automatic transmission.

Sigh :(

RE: Hmmm
By Spuke on 1/7/2014 12:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
Well when I was a teenager I had major reconstruction on my left knee, and it's gotten worst pretty much every year since.
Ouch! Well when the day comes, at least the auto won't suck too bad. If it was 5 years ago, I'd hang myself. A DCT is the best alternative IMO.

RE: Hmmm
By Firebat5 on 1/7/2014 3:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
I do enjoy the DCT on my Lancer. It really is a lot of fun to drive. I wanted a manual but the wife didn't. Perfect compromise. All of the fun, none of the learning curve.

RE: Hmmm
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/7/2014 3:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah DCTs are rocking these days -- though there are a lot of misguided people that think they should work like slushboxes. They don't!!

I hear you reclaimer about the left knee. Trashed mine back in my early 20s after a motorcycle wipeout. Was in a toes-to-crotch cast for 6 months and when I finally got out of it my I lost so much muscle my left thigh was 5 inches thinner than my right. It looked like a stick. After about 35 years since then I am getting really good at predicting the weather.

I have no problem driving stick at this age. I just don't bother when DCTs can shift 100 times faster than I ever could.

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