Mazda is apparently planning to introduce something radical under the hood of the to-be redesigned, next-generation Mazda3 compact.
According to Australian auto news outlet Motoring, the 2019 Mazda3 will bring with it an industry-first, "revolutionary," homogeneous charge compression ignition, or HCCI for short. Basically, it eschews spark plugs for a theoretically more efficient system that pushes fuel into a high-pressure combustion chamber. Echoing how diesel engines work, this is set to be the first petrol engine in a commercial, production car to use the compression-based ignition system.
Mazda's HCCI-enabled Skyactiv II engines will reportedly still use conventional spark plugs at low RPMs, but switch to the newfangled compression method at higher revs, according to Motoring. The Japanese automaker is aiming for a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency thanks to HCCI.
As for the new car, a concept previewing the fourth-gen Mazda3 is scheduled to drop at the Tokyo Motor Show this October. While it gets that fancy, new Skyactiv II engine, the MkIV 3 will reportedly sit on the same Skyactiv I platform that underpins the current car—as per Mazda's rule of only using new platforms every other generation. The skin surrounding it, however, will obviously be brand new. We're predicting something along the lines of the new and frankly uber-cool looking CX-5, but y'know, lower and less crossover-y.
The report goes on to say that HCCI will be present in pretty much all newly redesigned Mazdas going forward, including the oft-rumored-but-elusive rotary-revival sports car due out "by the end of this decade" and a plug-in hybrid (Mazda's first) with a possible rotary range extender in 2021.
The new engine tech is slated to be revealed at a Frankfurt technology forum sometime in late August.