Patent Hints Mazda is Working on a Laser-Ignition Engine

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Patent Hints Mazda is Working on a Laser-Ignition Engine

A new patent filing from Mazda suggests that the company is working to replace the spark plugs in its engines with lasers.

The Japanese automaker has filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization for a control device that works with a laser-ignition engine, confirming that Mazda is working with laser ignition and hinting that it may end up in its cars in the future.

SEE ALSO: Mazda Named Most Fuel-Efficient Automaker in US… Again

One of the issues with laser ignition of the fuel/air mixture in a cylinder is that the laser has the potential to get blocked by contaminates, lowering its potency once it reaches the mixture. This newly patented control device is able to detect contamination and then adjust a number of variables, including laser strength and fuel/air mixture levels to make sure the engine is running at a desired output.

Using laser ignition over spark plugs will lead to more efficient engines, as high compression ratios can be used in the cylinder without the need for increased voltage. This high voltage used in high compression engines also leads to spark plugs wearing out much faster, an issue that won’t affect a laser setup.

Mazda’s SkyActiv suite of fuel saving technologies includes high compression ratios in its small engines, which means they are good candidates for laser ignition.

Fricken laser beams!

Discuss this story at our Mazda Forum

  • Ash

    Go MAZDA, showing the rest of the world ‘how to’ build fantastic looking, easy to purchase, engineering excellence.

  • 6thGear

    Look for this ignition system on the next RX engine

  • craigcole

    Meh, I like good ol’ fashioned spark plugs. They’re cheap to replace and last a long time, especially the platinum-tipped ones.

  • Mike

    Yada yada

  • Bert Lero

    Honda invented variable valve timing,Mitsubishi applied the direction fuel injection, and now the laser spark, I salute the ingenuity of the Japanese ingineers.

  • Joshua Finley

    I give laser ignition systems at least 2 more years before they go mainstream in the automotive industry and potentially replace spark ignition. This will fit perfectly in Mazda’s SkyActiv Technology family and revolutionize the internal combustion engine as a whole. All Mazda needs to research in next is synthetic fuels, 100% full synthetic fuels. I’m talking gasoline and Diesel fuels going through the Fischer-Tropsch process to be converted into ultra clean burning fuels that directly replaces conventional pump fuels, also producing much higher fuel efficiency than traditional petroleum fuels

  • Joe Blo

    Fiat invented vvt…sorry.
    And Germans invented Direct Injection.
    And both had cars with it decades before the Japs.