The new diesel engine (SKY-D) and an all-new six-speed automatic transmission will be launched in the U.S. in 2012, in the automaker's "next-generation mid-sized" car—almost certainly the Mazda6.
Compared to the 2.2-liter diesel that Mazda today uses in other markets, the new diesel will achieve 20-percent better fuel economy, with a substantial boost in low- and high-end torque. With its active ceramic diesel particulate filter (DPF), there's no need for urea exhaust treatment.
Mazda says that the next-generation gasoline engine (SKY-G), in 2.0-liter form, will be as fuel-efficient as today's 2.2-liter diesel, with 15 percent more torque than current gasoline engines its size.
With these new engines, Mazda hopes to boost its global fuel economy by 30 percent by 2015, and with pending U.S. fuel economy rules you can be sure that the North American market is a very significant part of that.
Matched to both new engines, when they arrive, will be a new-generation six-speed automatic transmission called SKY-Drive that will play an important role in achieving that 43-mpg rating. Although a hydraulic system, it will offer fast shifts and a feel that's comparable to a dual-clutch automatic, Mazda claims. And according to R&D chief Seita Kanai, the transmission improved fuel economy by up to seven percent versus existing automatics. "No slip means there won't be wasteful heat generation," explained Kanai to TheCarConnection.com last year.