The New Mazda 3 will introduce a next-level ride, thanks in part to its Skyactiv-X compression-ignition-capable inline-four gasoline engine. Still in prototype form, Mazda estimates an increased output of 188 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque from its upcoming 2.0-liter Skyactiv-X. Compare these figures to that of the current Skyactiv-G engine, which produces 155 horses and 150 pound-feet of torque for the Mazda 3.
In addition to greater speed, the Skyactiv-X is aiming for improved fuel economy. Mazda hopes it will deliver an efficiency boost of up to 30 percent compared to the current Skyactiv-G engine.
The Skyactiv-X is Mazda’s latest effort to combine substantial fuel economy with modern power. Mazda wanted all the efficiency of a homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine without any of the volatility. That’s why it created an engine that achieves compression ignition using a spark plug as a combustion control. The Skyactive-X engine, then, can utilize lean fuel mixtures like an HCCI engine but remains stable in everyday driving scenarios, whether at high speeds or hauling moderate loads.
This engine will grace the new Mazda 3 generation, due out in about two years. Writers at Car and Driver report that, in its current prototype state, the Skyactiv-X definitely works. While that might not sound like much of a review, remember that nothing like the Skyactiv-X has ever been produced. It wasn’t a given that this ground-breaking technology would actually be operational.
Because this is Mazda we’re talking about, this new fuel-efficient engine will not sap the Mazda 3’s sporty ride. On the contrary, engineers are working on a powertrain that will maintain the brand’s zesty, fun-to-drive image. They’ve got more work to do, but the Skyactiv-X is definitely on its way to breaking new ground.
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