The 2018 Mazda 3 is going to bring brand-new engine technology next year, which will dramatically increase fuel efficiency and interestingly enough, it will have no spark plugs. But before we discuss this further, let’s see the new Mazda 3 redesigned model. Yes, you heard it right.
2018 Mazda 3 Redesign
Believe it or not, but here is what the new version is going to look like in 2018. Well, not exactly like this. Here, you can see the work of Mallory McMorrow of South Bend, Ind who won the Mazda Design Challenge. Her preliminary sketch led her to the finals where she met Jacques Flynn, Mazda’s crayon-twirler.
The result is a full-size, three-dimensional model that will be assembled during the course of the LA Auto Show and you will actually have a chance to see it on the Mazda stand.
Let’s get back on track, now that you know how cool the 2018 Mazda 3 is going to look like. According to Nikkei, the second-generation Skyactiv engines are going to be introduced at the end of 2018, which means that the next-generation Mazda 3 models will sport a new unit.
It has been six years since Mazda started using the SkyActiv Tech and the time has come for enhancement. As we have already said, with the new engines the fuel efficiency will be improved, but how much exactly? The new Mazda 3 is expected to return about 3.3 liters per 100 kilometers, which is a fascinating result. The best official combined figure recorded by the current model is 5.7L/100km, whereas, just for comparison, the Toyota Prius is rated at 3.4 liters per 100 km.
The Way It Operates
Since there are no spark plugs, the fuel is ignited by the engine’s compression in order to achieve a more efficient combustion – a process similar to the one of a diesel unit. The name for this kind of internal combustion is HCCI which stands for homogeneous charge compression ignition. According to the Japanese automaker, this will be the first application of this technology in real life, so it will be interesting to see the new Mazda 3 on sale.
Theoretically speaking, the HCCI combustion is almost identical to knocking or pinging – when there is a spontaneous ignition of the fuel because of the excessive heat and high pressure just ahead of the combustion cycle start. However, the difference is that in the HCCI, the combustion is controlled and intentional, but you get the idea.
Because of the HCCI, a leaner burn is achieved, and a result of that we get a lower amount of exhaust emissions, especially the NOx. Without spark ignition and with the use of pressure and heat, commercializing HCCI engine is difficult because of some problems such as cold starting and higher powerplant wear.
Is Mazda The Only One?
Many carmakers chase this HCCI combustion engine technology, and one of the most famous is Mercedes-Benz, which even launched the F700 Concept with this kind of unit in 2007. However, they couldn’t make a production car with this powerplant under the hood.
Mazda’s development plan has had the HCCI SkyActiv engines for some time, and this technology will be integrated into the second-generation of the popular units. Moreover, the Japanese carmaker also wants to bring back the rotary engine, and the development of the HCCI combustion is a significant step.
2018 Mazda 3 release date and price
The new technology will make debut in the 2018 Mazda 3 which production will start probably in August this year. The ongoing Mazda 3 costs between $19,770 and $25,820 depending on whether it is a sedan or a hatchback and the trim level. So, we expect a slight rise in the price because of the enhancement and improvements that the new SkyActiv unit offers.
What do you think about second-generation SkyActiv engines? And how about the new Mazda 3? State your opinion in the comment section.