Mazda SkyActiv Diesel Delayed Again


One of the best-received newcomers to the mid-size sedan market is making a go of things without one of its promised engines and will continue to do so indefinitely. 

For the second time, Mazda will hold back on releasing its diesel-powered 6 to the U.S. for emissions reasons. Up until today’s announcement, the engine was expected to launch this spring.

“While Mazda understands its SkyActiv-D can meet emission regulation requirements without the use of a NOx after-treatment system, it was decided that further development is required to deliver the right balance between fuel economy and Mazda-appropriate driving performance,” the manufacturer said in a statement.

Despite the setback, Mazda says it still intends to market the 2.2-liter diesel engine in North America. Before any of that will happen, the company will go back to its drawing board and revise the launch timeline. It isn’t clear how serious the revisions will need to be, but Mazda is still keeping technical specifications and fuel consumption estimates quiet.

Mazda had initially hoped to market its diesel engines to U.S. buyers without adding an exhaust after-treatment system that would reduce nitrous-oxide emissions while adding cost and complexity.

The engine is meant to serve as as V6 replacement and – at least in prototype form – used a relatively low compression ratio to offer a gasoline engine-like rpm range. At the time, it offered 165 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque, although that figure will probably be more conservative in production form.