By Andrew Ganz
Friday, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 2:24 pm
 
After confirming that two diesel-powered Mazdas are planned for North America, the Japanese "zoom zoom" automaker has remained especially tight-lipped on its future product portfolio. In discussion with Mazda executives earlier this week at the Chicago Auto Show, Leftlane learned that the automaker will make some sort of announcement about its future diesel offerings at the New York International Auto Show in April.

Analysts and journalists alike have been carefully watching Mazda, which will is poised to become the first Japanese automaker to try to sell a modern diesel in the United States. Honda had previous suggested that its Acura TSX would be a good candidate for a diesel powertrain in this market, but the automaker canned the idea after deciding that demand would be low.

Mazda has shied away from hybrid powertrains for most of its models - rare Tribute Hybrids stand as an exception - although the company's CEO recently confirmed that hybrids using Toyota tech will be a stepping stone toward EVs. In the meantime, the automaker will look toward diesel powertrains to boost its relatively low line-wide mpg figures.

Mazda now has one of the world's most advanced diesel engines, its SKY-D offering, which bumped fuel economy up more than 30 percent over the engine family it replaced.

As for likely candidates for a diesel motor? Bigger vehicles, like the CX-7 and CX-9 stand to benefit the most, but the company has already said that a SKY-D-equipped model will net 43 mpg, which suggests that a diesel-powered Mazda3 is on its way.

Look for more information to leak out of Mazda's normally silent executives closer to the New York show.