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Mazda will be revealing the ground-breaking HCCI technology and the new design for its next small car, the Mazda 3, in the next few weeks. 

Only a few weeks away, and we will be able to get details on the revolutionary "sparkless" ignition technology that will power the petrol engines in its fourth-generation Mazda3 due in 2018. These first details about the industry-first homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) are expected to be revealed at a technology forum in Frankfurt later this month.

The 2018 Mazda3 will ride on the same SKYACTIV l platform. This is in line with Mazda's policy of only renewing platforms every second generation, with a redesigned body emerging every 5 years with each model change.


The new mazda3 will leapfrog a re-bodied, HCCI-equipped Mazda6 into production. This is because of its importance as Mazda's global top-seller. So we can expect the 'new' Mazda 6 to have the same strategy. 

Then, the process will be repeated with replacements for the Mazda2 (launched in October 2015), the CX-3 (March 2015), the MX-5 (August 2015) and the CX-9 (July 2016). This will happen before the first truly all-new seventh-generation Mazda model, likely to be the Mklll CX-5, arrives around 2022.

The China-exclusive CX-4 and Japan-exclusive CX-8 are also expected to get the same HCCI treatment. 

While the CX-4 is already on sale in China and the JDM CX-8 is expected to make its global debut at the Tokyo show with the Mazda3 concept, it has been suggested that there is a good chance both new crossovers will be released in Australia in their current generation. 

By the end of the decade, Mazda will also be releasing a born-again rotary-powered sports car (fitted, also, with HCCI technology), a new-generation BT-50 ute based on the Isuzu's next D-MAX and its first all-electric car. The  EV will be followed in 2021 by Mazda's first plug-in hybrid (potentially with rotary range-extender technology). 

There is also a possibility that Mazda will introduce a full range of MPS performance models based on an HCCI-equipped version of the CX-9's 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. This hot-shoe lineup will certainly include an MPS-variant of the CX-5.

Emission Reductions

In the long term, Mazda says it will release third-generation SKYACTIV lll engine technology to meet Europe's 2025 fleet-average CO2 emissions requirement of 65g/km.

However, for now, the company is targeting another 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption with the ground-breaking introduction of the HCCI in 2018. This reduction is claimed to be in addition to the 30 percent cut it has already achieved since 2008.

It has already been reported that Mazda is expected to bear Daimler, General Motors, Hyundai and other car-makers to market with the first commercial application of the diesel-style compression-ignition system in a petrol engine.

Though full details are yet to be announced, the centrepiece of Mazda's SKYACTIV ll engine lineup is believed to employ conventional spark plugs at low rpms but compression ignition at higher revs.

This lean-burn process is supposed to produce more efficient combustion (therefore reduced fuel consumption and emissions) while also eliminating engine damaging pre-ignition.

The already existing SKYACTIV-G petrol engines still employ a record-high, motorcycle-style compression ratio of 14.0:1.

This has the potential to increase as much as 18.0:1 with the addition of HCCI technology, which could reduce the next 2.0-litre Mazda3's fuel consumption to as little as 3.5L/100km and its CO2 emissions to less than 95g/km (as required by Europe by 2020). 

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