Today’s announcement that Mazda will be bringing a new clean diesel version of its popular CX-5 SUV to the U.S. market is another strong signal that interest in diesel vehicles is on the rebound in the U.S., according to Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show today, Mazda North American Operations officially announced that Mazda will introduce the clean diesel version CX-5 SKYACTVE-D SUV in 2017. The SKYACTIV-D will be powered by a 2.2-litre clean diesel engine with an SCR after-treatment system.
“Today’s announcement is a clear signal that auto manufacturers remain committed to clean diesel as a key option for meeting consumer needs for fuel-efficient vehicles without compromising performance or utility,” Schaeffer said. “Mazda’s success in the global diesel vehicle market is well-documented as they have played the most significant role of any auto maker in the revival of diesels in Japan. Last year, Mazda accounted for 70 percent of diesel sales in the Japanese market.
“Mazda’s ranking for four consecutive years as the manufacturer with the highest fuel economy rating in the U.S, further underscores the significance of their decision to bring consumers their proven SKYACTIV-D diesel choice into their fuel-efficient line-up. Mazda also announced they are considering additional clean diesel models in the U.S. joining other auto makers who have made recent moves to expand the U.S. diesel market like Chevrolet, GMC, Mercedes, Ford, Ram, Jeep, Land Rover, Jaguar and Nissan.
“Some have questioned whether diesel is still a viable option for passenger vehicles in the U.S. in the wake of the VW emissions crisis, but in October 2016 more diesel passenger vehicles were sold than other alternative fueled vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electrics combined, according to HybridCars.com.
“The new Mazda SKYACTIV-D option in the all-new CX-5 crossover SUV is the right vehicle at the right time, giving consumers a great new option in the red-hot crossover SUV market. Along with light-duty pickups, this is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. market, and also a focal point of opportunity for diesels as well.”
Diesel’s Proven Fuel Efficiency, Long-Term Value and No-Compromise Performance
Will Continue to Drive Consumer Interest in U.S.
“Diesel buyers see the big picture and long-term value by investing in the new generation of clean diesel cars, SUVs and pickups,” Schaeffer said. “As a recognized maker of vehicles that don’t compromise on performance or efficiency, Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D diesel entry to the U.S. comes at a time of great significance and opportunity. With tighter fuel efficiency standards coming into play and consumers demand for greener choices, we have no doubt that Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D will play a major role in the expanding growth of clean diesel technology in the U.S. market.
Clean Diesel System Now Proven, Continues to Undergo Refinements and Improvements
Schaeffer said evolution to the new generation of clean diesel technology is built around a system that includes ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (required since 2007) combined with the most energy-efficient internal combustion engines and the most advanced emissions controls. These changes have resulted in a 97 percent reduction in the sulfur in diesel fuel that enables the selective catalytic reduction system (SCR), like that in the SKYACTIV-D, to achieve more than 98 percent reductions in particulate matter and NOx emissions.
“The new generation of clean diesel passenger vehicles with proven real world fuel efficiency – about 30 percent better fuel efficiency than comparable gasoline vehicles – offers consumers a great choice, right alongside existing gasoline engines as well as other alternative fuels and powertrains. These vehicles are clean with low CO2 emissions, they provide great performance, and they are renewable fuel ready. Because of all this, we are extremely optimistic about the future of diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S.”