Mike Stevens | Mar 27, 2009

It seems that Mazda is one of the few companies dedicated to keeping as much weight as possible out of its cars. Initially to preserve the driving experience, but now also to enhance fuel economy.

While Mazda's Japanese HQ has been working on hydrogen versions of its renowned rotary platform, Mazda has said "no" to hefty hybrid powertrains in its regular models.

Instead, the company’s green solution will focus on clean diesels and lower weight to deliver fuel economy figures comparable to a mild hybrid system.

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Mazda’s goal is to have diesel engines delivering hybrid levels of fuel consumption by 2011, on the way to a 30 percent drop in consumption across the entire range by 2015.

To this end, the company is planning a diesel engine of around 2.0 litres in size, with fuel efficiency figures similar to a 660cc petrol engine.

Research and Development Chief Seita Kanai told reporters in Japan, "We believe that improving today's conventional engines at a low cost is the most effective way to get fuel-efficient cars to proliferate."

Despite the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles, Mazda intends to create a lower-cost solution by improving existing technologies. Systems such as its proprietary single-nanotechnology catalysts will help clean up harmful exhaust emissions without adding greatly to the final cost of a car.

Weight will also be targeted, with a goal of stripping in excess of 100 kilograms out of each newly-developed car by 2011 and a similar second-stage target set for 2016.

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