The Japanese automaker plans to bring a diesel-powered midsized sedan to the United States in 2012 that will get 43 miles per gallon. That is better than any of today’s midsized hybrids, and Mazda promises its car will cost far less.
Although the SKY-D engine was originally introduced late last year, there were no official plans as to what vehicles it would be used in. Now, Mazda has gone on the record to say they are planning on fitting the SKY-D into their “next-generation mid-sized car.” Although they haven’t named a specific platform, the current bets are on the Mazda-6.
It is unclear if that figure was derived using the 6-speed manual, or the new SKY-Drive 6-speed automatic gearbox. Either way, it’s safe to say this will likely be a hard vehicle to keep on the lots.
The first run of diesel powered Mazdas is expected to hit North American shores sometime in 2012.
Consumer Reports test engineer Jake Fisher called it one of the most important announcements made at the New York auto show last week.
“That was big news, because we need a small displacement, fuel-efficient diesel that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg,” he said. “Volkswagen has one, but every other manufacturer seems scared of diesels. I think it’s fabulous that Mazda has thrown its hat in the ring.”