A high-ranking Mazda executive claims the Japanese brand will “surprise” the automotive industry with its new approach to diesel engines in 2020.

Speaking to Autocar, Christian Schultze, the head of Mazda Motor Europe’s research and development department, said the firm had no plans to ditch diesel.

“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 told the publication.

“We will surprise you next year,” he said, adding “there are not so many differences between petrol and diesel”.

Of course, Mazda already offers its clever new Skyactiv-X engine in some markets (but not yet South Africa), with the powerplant billed as the world’s first commercial petrol unit to combine the spark ignition of a petrol engine with the compression ignition of a diesel.

“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,” Schultze said.