Automaker Mazda says it is working on the world’s first production compression-ignition gasoline engine.
If you believe most of the press these days, internal combustion engines are dead. Electric vehicles are the future! But despite the prophets of gas-powered doom, the internal combustion engine dominates the roadways of the globe, and Mazda is trying to take it to the next level, with an engine that ignites its gasoline by compression, similar to how a diesel motor works.
Supposedly, this will allow for a cooler-running motor, which in turn allows Mazda to run a leaner fuel-air mixture. All this is aimed at reducing tailpipe emissions and improving engine efficiency.
Mazda says the compression-ignition is possible due to newer high-compression engine designs. Just as diesel engines often require glow plugs to start operation before they’re at optimum running temperatures, the Mazda design will require spark plugs for the engine to run outside its ideal operating conditions.
So, will we see this tech come to motorcycles? Probably not in the adventure bike world, where savvy riders prefer their mounts to be able to run on whatever swill comes from roadside gas cans in Mongolia. But should the technology prove workable, maybe we’ll see it down the road in the world of roadracing, as long as battery bikes don’t push internal combustion engines out first. In any case, it’s good to see major manufacturers still tinkering with gasoline-powered designs, despite the naysayers’ predictions.