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Mazda prepares for new era in racing

The automaker is designing new racing engines based on its SkyActiv-D diesel model

by Griffin RogersPublished: June 06, 2012 01:30 PM

Mazda's SkyActiv-D diesel engine
Mazda North American Operations, the automaker’s Irvine-based U.S. and Canadian headquarters, will collaborate with Mazda Motor Corporation and SpeedSource Engineering in the development of a new clean diesel engine used for racing in the Grand-AM GX class. Among several key features, the SkyActiv-D engines will reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent and weight by 10 percent.

Beginning in 2013, the technology will be outfitted in the Grand-AM’s GX racing class to “deliver outstanding performance and fuel economy coupled with the kind of quality, durability and reliability needed to produce great street cars and win endurance races,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports at MNAO.

The SkyActiv-D features 2.2-liter diesel 4-cylinder, dual-stage turbocharged technology, which provides a low compression ratio of 14:1 and a 5,200-rpm redline. Internal engine friction is also reduced by 20 percent.

Jay Amestoy, vice president of Mazda Motorsports at MNAO, said the introduction of the clean power train into the GX racing class opens a new chapter for the company.

“We’ve won with rotary technology,” Amestoy said, “and now we’re looking to again put our customers in the winner’s circle with what we believe will be the most advanced and cleanest production-based powerplant the sport has ever seen.”

For the past five years, Mazda has been racing its rotary-powered RX-8, a sports car in the Grand-AM GT class that is no longer produced in the U.S. Since the car that once won races is now unavailable, Mazda set its sights on SkyActiv technology.

Testing has already begun on the engines, but pricing will be announced at a later date, along with the specific type of vehicle model that will utilize the technology.

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