AFTER revelations of the past few weeks, nobody can tell me that the internal combustion engine is a dead duck.
Hot on the heels of Audi's announcement of its commitment to developing virtually no-CO2 synthetic diesel fuel comes news from Japanese manufacturer Mazda that it has done the seemingly impossible and created an engine that combines the smoothness and performance of a petrol engine with the economy of a diesel.
Hardly surprising really because Mazda has always been committed to providing pure driving enjoyment with its cars.
The new engine forms are a new feature of Mazda's efficient SKYACTIV programme and features something called Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition, a never-before-seen combustion method.
It is the latest step in Mazda's quest to develop a petrol engine with the ideal internal combustion mechanism.
Developing compression ignition for petrol engines has long been a goal of engineers. In the SKYACTIV-X power unit spark plug ignition is used to control compression ignition, resulting in dramatic improvements across a range of important performance indicators.
Expansiveness at high revs and cleaner exhaust emissions have been combined with the best features of a compression-ignition diesel engine - superior initial response and fuel economy.
This is what might be termed a crossover engine that delivers the best of both worlds.
It underlines the opinion of Mazda that there is still plenty of potential in the combustion engine and that this technology could contribute in a major way to conservation of our global environment.