An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Mazda Motor Corp said it would become the world's first automaker to commercialize a much more efficient petrol engine using technology that deep-pocketed rivals have been trying to engineer for decades, a twist in an industry increasingly going electric. The new compression ignition engine is 20 percent to 30 percent more fuel efficient than the Japanese automaker's current engines and uses a technology that has eluded the likes of Daimler AG and General Motors Co. Mazda, with a research and development (R&D) budget a fraction of those of major peers, said it plans to sell cars with the new engine from 2019. A homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine ignites petrol through compression, eliminating spark plugs. Its fuel economy potentially matches that of a diesel engine without high emissions of nitrogen oxides or sooty particulates. Mazda's engine employs spark plugs under certain conditions, such as at low temperatures, to overcome technical hurdles that have hampered commercialization of the technology.