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Mazda joins the downsizing party with 1.5-liter SKYACTIV diesel


June 12, 2014

The Hazumi concept points towards the new Mazda 2, which will be the first car to feature the engine

The Hazumi concept points towards the new Mazda 2, which will be the first car to feature the engine

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In spite of the saying "ain't no replacement for displacement," manufacturers are making their engines smaller by the day. Ford has its 1.0-liter EcoBoost, and Mini a 1.5-liter three cylinder motor. Renault's next Twingo will feature not only a 1.0-liter engine, but a 900cc motor making 90hp. Now, Mazda has joined the global trend for downsizing engines with its new turbocharged 1.5-liter SKYACTIV diesel. After teasing us at the Geneva Motor Show, the Japanese car company has finally released details of its new motor.

The engine features a very low compression ratio (14:8:1) like the 2.2-liter SKYACTIV diesel featured in the CX-5, but less mechanical resistance and additional work to limit the cooling losses associated with a small engine. It also takes advantage of a water-cooled intercooler that is integrated into the intake manifold, which improves engine response and the efficiency of the turbocharger.

The engine makes 77 kW (105 hp) at 4,000 rpm, and an impressive 250 Nm (184 ft lb) between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. Mazda claims the torque figure is equivalent to that which you'd find in a 2.5-liter petrol motor, and because the engine meets the strict Euro6 emissions targets, Mazda claims no costly NOx aftertreatment system is needed to curb emissions.

To keep fuel consumption down, the new car will feature Mazda's i-stop system, which stops the engine when sitting still instead of wasting fuel idling. It also will feature i-ELOOP brake regeneration, a system that stores energy gained when braking and uses it to help power the car's electronics. The 2015 Mazda 2 will be the first car to utilize the new engine.

Source: Mazda

About the Author
Scott Collie Based in Melbourne, Australia, Scott grew up with a passion for cars and a love of writing. He now combines the two by covering all things automotive for Gizmag. When he’s got a spare moment, you can usually find him freezing himself silly in search of fresh powder to ski. All articles by Scott Collie

Wow, super sweet stuff but sure to never be seen in north america where the oil goons rule. They have bought a lot of our politicians to make sure they can sell every last gallon of their stuff, consequences be damned.

I'm saving money for a Tesla now. Goodbye combustion engine.


It seems small is the new big. I think being a diesel car, it would have really great MPG. I think the design of the car is really nice.


I think I posted a similar info-graphic in the Ford article but their goal seems to be to break "hybrid" into individual components and gradually work them into their product line: http://i.imgur.com/q48aI7a.gif

Also, some companies doing hybrid still license technology from Toyota. The Prius was launched in 1997. That makes my wonder how many of the significant patents related to it will expire in 2017 (or sooner). Toyota has something like 4000 patents related to hybrid tech.

Additionally, Alex Severinsky sued Toyota over a 1994 patent for hybrid vehicles (US5343970 related to how power delivery is balanced between ICE and electric engines) and won. Ford also licensed Severinsky's patent.

Since his patent was filed in 1992 and granted in 1994 is it now public domain? Right now hybrid still seems to be a bit of a minefield of proprietary technologies. Maybe with patents on the first couple generations of technology starting to expire more companies (like GM and Chrysler) will finally test the water.


Related to my above post it looks like Tesla just decided to open up all their patents to the public domain: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

That's a pretty big deal.


Small is not the new big. They will never be suitable for towing, so we still need our big vehicles. Good for a first car or run-around though.


The dinosaurs still think they rule --- but there is historical -precedent for where that kind of thinking gets you. ;)

T N Args

Small High output engines are good it is the blindingly expensive hybrid systems that is the problem.


@Chevypower I assume you are a Chevy fan, did you know the electric motor in the tiny little spark EV makes 400 lbs of torque? That's more than the 5.3L Silverado. I wouldn't be so fast to throw around the word "never".


@Daishi, I am not really a Chevy fan, I drive an F150. The 5.3 is a torqueless wonder, so not setting the bar real high. That said, 400 lb-ft is decent for a small car. What you are forgetting is that 400 lb-ft with electric does not get multiplied into much higher torque figures through a transmission. Look, I have been a fan of electric motors for over a decade, and would love for them to work. We are not there with battery technology yet, and they need transmissions to make use of that torque. Look, my point wasn't against electric motors or even the downsizing of engines, my point was that you can't downsize the vehicles and get capable towing. There is much more to towing than maximum torque output at the crank. There is safety, controllability, stability, braking, and handling. You need a strong and heavy truck with a long and wide wheel base to get that.


"never be seen in north america where the oil goons rule." BeWalt Don't be so sure, @BeWalt. Mazda has built a factory in Mexico to build the Mazda2 and its Toyota rebadged twin for the Americas. The diesel may well roll off a Mexican assembly line, joining the 2011+ Ford Fiesta, 2015+ Honda Fit, and 2015+ Volkswagen Golf.

Paul Stregevsky

Small engines are fine, but what scares me is the lack of grunt at the low end, especially if you are pulling into traffic. A small diesel may fit the bill quite well.

Bruce H. Anderson

What's the MPG?

If it's the highest, and Zaptera(Aptera) can't produce, I might take a bus to Mexico and drive back in a new Mazda 2.

Don Duncan

Interesting change in direction- I drive several Mazdas every week, invariably the 3, CX5, and the 6 models, each with the 2.2 litre diesel (as this is by far the most common engine for UK Mazdas). Mazda used to maintain that a large capacity (compared to the competition) diesel engine would outperform smaller high output engines used in their rivals- and they seem to have a point as the 2.2 is indeed a powerful, refined, and economical engine.

I've never driven a 2 in any configuration, but I'd wager that the 1.5 will appear in the 3 in due course.


I think there will always be a need for bigger vehicles but I think the trend is for smaller vehicles for commuting and light travelling. There are those who have a small car for commuting and a bigger one for towing and for other things that a small car can not do.

I have read that these small vehicles can tow small trailers and campers. I have seen small vehicles tow trailers / campers that were made for motorcycles to tow. I have seen some that was light weight enough for a Smart Fortwo to tow. I believe Little Guy Trailers has one. I believe Time Out also has a pop up tent trailer that can be towed by a Smart Fortwo.


About half the automobiles sold in Europe are diesels. In the US, it's consumer demand and lower gas prices that drive the market for gasoline engines. Folks are more willing to pay extra for a Prius to look cool than to purchase a diesel engined car that probably gets better (actual) mileage.


How come no one has developed a Diesel-Electric or a Hemp Oil-Electric hybrid? Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel. (Popular Mechanics, 1941.)

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