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Mazda SKYACTIV-D Diesel Engine Bows at LA Auto Show

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Mazda's SKYACTIV-D diesel engine

Mazda said its SKYACTIV-D low-compression diesel engine will be an optional engine on the Mazda6 midsize sedan for 2014. (Photo courtesy Mazda.)

Mazda officially revealed its 2014 Mazda6 mid-size sedan and a 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D diesel engine to propel it at the L.A. Auto Show this week.

According to a Mazda press release, the engine features a compression ratio of just 14:1, which is low for diesels. As of this writing, Mazda had yet to release performance figures for the engine. However, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine that is likely to be the more popular of the two engines in the beginning makes 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. We would expect the diesel to make slightly fewer horsepower and potentially quite a bit more torque, but that’s pure speculation.

Mazda said the engine’s fuel economy is 20% better than the MZR-series diesel four-cylinder sold in some of its models on the global market (read: not in North America). This efficiency increase comes largely thanks to two-stage turbocharging, the press release said. The release also noted the engine’s low compression ratio allowed the engine to burn its fuel more cleanly and emit fewer nitrogen oxides, producing “virtually no soot” so exhaust aftertreatment is not necessary, as is common on diesel engines in North America.

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