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The Numbers Are In: All About the Mazda SKYACTIV-X Engine

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2019 Mazda3

The long-awaited Mazda SKYACTIV-X has finally arrived — well, in Europe, at least. American buyers have to wait a bit longer to rev up this fuel-efficient engine. Here’s a look at what this innovative, highly anticipated engine brings to the Mazda3.

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Power and performance

According to figures that Mazda released in a Slovakian market brochure, the SKYACTIV-X endows the Mazda3 with 177 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. While this 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine won’t be hauling any trailers, it’ll save you time and money at the pump.

In the Mazda3 sedan, sources don’t agree on a final number for fuel efficiency. Some pundits claim the engine earns a whopping 55 miles per gallon when equipped with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. However, other reports place it as low as 40 and as high as 60 mpg. If you opt for the hatchback, you’ll net about 43 mpg — still a marked improvement over the Mazda3 hatchback’s already-impressive 35 mpg on the highway. Whether you go for the sedan or the hatchback, you can pair the SKYACTIV-X with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. However, since the United States’ EPA evaluation system is different, the efficient new power plant might have slightly different numbers when it reaches the American market.

The engine will also come standard with a 24-volt mild hybrid system. It boosts fuel economy further by collecting the vehicle’s energy during deceleration to boost fuel economy.

Number Crunching: Calculate your fuel efficiency savings

SKYACTIV-X technology

The SKYACTIV-X engine is possible thanks to Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition, which uses mechanisms similar to a diesel engine. It uses this diesel-like protocol when performing steady-state cruising, light acceleration, and other light-load duties. However, for startup and hard acceleration, it behaves like a normal, spark-ignition engine. This allows the SKYACTIV-X to nimble, responsive, and free from engine knock.

Mazda plans to release the SKYACTIV-X engine in the American market by 2019. All other markets will have a chance to cut their gas budget in 2020.

Sources: Car and Driver, Motor1