Car giant Mazda has confirmed its commitment to diesel by announcing that it will launch an innovative diesel engine next year as it takes a broader approach than some other companies to reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

Talking to Autocar magazine, Mazda’s Europe R&D, boss Christian Schultze, said: “We are sticking to diesel engines. In 2020, we have a new approach to diesel engines. We will show you how clean and very efficient diesel engines can be.”

Schultze was asked if the new diesel would use similar technology to Mazda’s recently launched spark-plug-controlled, compression ignition, Skyactive-X petrol engine. He replied: “We will surprise you next year; there are not so many differences between petrol and diesel.”

The Skyactiv-X engine uses lean-burn combustion and compression ignition to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while delivering good performance.

Schultze said Mazda will consider other powertrain options as and when they become viable. “If we come into an age where sustainable fuels are economically similar, why not use them? We hope governments wake up and see that electrification is one way but there are others, too. Skyactiv-X is a step in the right direction.”