Mazda to research cleaner engines

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Words: Nile Bijoux
10 Aug 2018

Mazda has launched a joint research project with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (SAOC) to make internal combustion engines even more efficient and cleaner burning.

SAOC will be responsible for developing a fuel with a new refinery process to net lower carbon emissions, while Mazda, alongside Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, will research and develop a high-efficiency engine to use that fuel.

The end result will be a reduction in well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emissions. The company says the extended area of focus (over tank-to-wheel) will help it meet goals set out in its “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” plan, announced in August last year.

The plan states Mazda’s intent to reduce corporate average well-to-wheel carbon dioxide emissions to 50 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030, and achieve a 90 per cent reduction by 2050.

Other ways the company is looking to reduce their CO2 output is to introduce electric vehicles and electric drive technologies. One of these technologies could be a small-capacity rotary engine acting as a range extender, an idea Mazda has already played with.

Back in 2014, the company stuck a tiny 300cc rotary mill into a concept Mazda2 PHEV, and last year patents emerged for a Wankel stop-start system that specifically mentioned the engine being used as a range extender. The rotary actually makes a lot of sense for this role, as its high power output and small size make for optimal packaging. The traditionally poor fuel consumption of the rotary is less of an issue as it will not be revved out to the max.

We’re still crossing our fingers for a new RX-series sports car, however.

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NZ Autocar

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