Mazda Motorsports is looking to change the face of motorsports in North America, announcing that it will be supplying clean Skyactiv-D diesel engines to teams for the 2013 season.
Diesel engine technology has revolutionized racing overseas thanks to Audi, and Mazda appears set to follow a similar path in the U.S. Grand Am series. Moving away from its past in rotary-powered racing, the engine will be a Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder powerplant featuring a dual-stage turbocharger setup. Mazda promises that these engines, “will 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.
Cars using the Skyactiv-D engine will compete in the new GX class, created to let new vehicles and new technologies into the competition.
Mazda will be the only Asian automaker committed to bringing modern clean-diesel technology to the United States with plans to offer a production car with a diesel engine in the near future. The Skyactiv-D engine has a 14:1 low compression ratio, a 5200-rpm redline, and compared to the current production 2.2-liter MZR-CD engine it has 20-percent reduction in fuel consumption, 20-perfect reduction in internal engine friction, and 10-percent reduction in weight. (Read up on AutoGuide’s first drive of the Skyactive-D engine here).
The racing engines will be jointly developed by Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda North American Operations, and SpeedSource Engineering. Testing on the dyno has already begun and on-track testing will begin later this year with engine pricing being announced at a later date.
“As a motorsports engineering firm, we love a challenge, and starting a new program with a stock-block Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine gives us a wonderful opportunity. The ultra-low compression ratio stock engine has fantastic torque and fuel economy. Our job is to tune it such that it meets the needs of our racers. Once again, Mazda charts its own path, and we are pleased to be an integral part of this project,” said Sylvain Tremblay of SpeedSource Engineering.