GENEVA: Mazda to launch more efficient engines in 2012
The engines play a key role along with ever-lighter cars in Mazda's drive to reduce fuel consumption by around 30% between now and 2015.
'The Sky-D engine will have the same level of fuel economy as mild hybrids but at considerably less cost,' said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda president and CEO.
However, although the carmaker says that the Sky engines will provide an interim solution to reducing fuel consumption and emissins, it is looking to eventually use some form of mild hybrid powertrain.
Mr Yamanouchi continued: 'Hybrids are costly and although sales are stronger in the US and Japan, globally they are not so successful. Of the 60 million vehicles built a year, just one per cent are hybrids.
'That will change and we will be ready. We have electric vehicle research underway at the moment – and remember Mazda launched its first EV 40 years ago.'