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NAIAS 2013: The Mazda SkyActiv-D Diesel-Powered Race Car

NAIAS 2013: The Mazda SkyActiv-D Diesel-Powered Race Car

Later on this year, Mazda will try and stake a claim in the ever-growing market for diesel cars in the U.S. To help promote their all-new, 2014 Mazda6 with the available SkyActiv-D diesel engine, Mazda will be campaigning three of these clean diesel race cars. One of these sweet diesel racers was on display at the Mazda booth.

The 2.2 liter SkyActiv-D engine found in the clean diesel race car is based on the same engine that will make its way into the 2014 Mazda6. That is because Mazda believes in racing what they sell, a tradition that dates back to the Trams Am muscle cars of the 1960s. Granted, when the Mazda6 clean diesel race car makes its way into the Grand Am series later this year, it will be highly modified to produce around 400 horsepower. In production guise, the 2014 Mazda6 with the SkyActiv-D engine will make 173 horsepower and 310 ft-lbs of torque.

But it is still worth noting that Mazda is taking a big step (and risk) in investing so much effort in marketing a diesel engine in the U.S. While diesel car sales are on the rise, the market for diesel cars still only represents less than 3% of annual automotive sales. There have been no diesel race cars of note in America, though diesels have dominated the international circuit, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

We’re rooting for Mazda’s bold approach to diesel and racing in 2013, and hopefully they’re find success on both the racetrack and in the showroom.

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A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.