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Mazda: diesel is not finished yetby Ronan Glon
The company is also working on an algae-based bio fuel.
Mazda has officially joined the ranks of auto-makers who still believe the diesel engine has a future.
"I think the current hype around diesel will weaken when the new Real Driving Emissions measurement method is introduced. We then measure emissions in the real world and they are pretty good. The new emission targets for diesel engines are not much different from petrol engines. There will be a shift in opinion," predicted Jeff Guyton, the president and CEO of Mazda's European division, in an interview with AutoRAI.
The company believes in the American diesel market, too. Mazda still plans on selling a diesel-powered variant of the CX-5 in the United States, though it has delayed the model several times. The brand's consumer website lists the model as a future vehicle.
Interestingly, Guyton reiterated Mazda's interest in algae-based bio fuels. The company is working with two universities in Japan to make it a reality, though bio fuel remains expensive to make.
"I think that if a fraction of the money goes to developing a bio fuel instead of electric propulsion, we can take a big step and actually have a positive impact on the environment," Guyton opined.
Mazda will nonetheless jump on the electrification bandwagon next year when it introduces its first-ever electric car. The list of options will include a Wankel range extender, and rumors indicate the engine could later power a successor to the RX-8. Guyton didn't rule that out, but he said the company has no plans to do another rotary-engined sports cars in the near future.
Photo by Ronan Glon.