180hp and 52mpg from Skyactiv-X Mazda 3


Mazda has already been praised on PH for its commitment to naturally aspirated engines, the 2.0-litre MX-5 unit in particular singled out for its effervescent nature and laudable efficiency. Now Mazda is taking its development of petrol engines one step further, with the Skyactiv-X Mazda 3.

Skyactiv-X has been discussed for a while now, drives having taken place of prototypes with the Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition technology that combines - you guessed it - both spark and compression ignition. The ignition technology also works with Mazda's M Hybrid tech to reduce emissions, recycling kinetic energy from braking to supply an electric motor that assists the engine. Today's newss is the announcement of production car specs, and they're as impressive as we've come to expect from Mazda's innovative engine range.


In a Mazda 3 on 16-inch wheels, the 180hp, 165lb ft 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X will return 52.3mpg on the WLTP cycle and emit just 96g/km of CO2. That's unprecedented for a petrol engine; the fact that peak power is delivered at 6,000rpm would suggest it's not simply a turgid petrol tuned for economy, either. With the optional 18-inch wheels, those numbers fall to 50.4mpg and 102g/km. With all-wheel drive, automatic gearboxes and different bodystyles available, not all will sneak under that 100g/km threshold, but it's a mighty achievement nonetheless.

The Skyactiv-X engined cars will go on sale later this year, with UK prices and specs to be released in July. It sounds like fascinating technology, potentially a huge leap forward for petrol engines and promising a future for non-turbo'd or hybridised power units. Wonder if it'll go in an MX-5?


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Comments (65) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Grrbang 06 Jun 2019

    I think PH'ers will be more impressed by 224Nm / 3000rpm from an NA 2 litre petrol, than slightly better fuel economy.

    Edited by Grrbang on Thursday 6th June 14:29

  • dukebox9reg 06 Jun 2019

    I get over 50mpg out of my Leon FR Sport 190 petrol which has a much more user friendly 236lbft and 7 spd DSG.
    Just this morning on my commute I got 51.8mpg.

    26 miles of backroads, M40/M42 and a bit of town. Average 42mph.

    I'm guessing the Mazda with that little torque etc making half decent progress and 50mpg would be very hard.

  • stedaley 06 Jun 2019

    dukebox9reg said:
    I get over 50mpg out of my Leon FR Sport 190 petrol which has a much more user friendly 236lbft and 7 spd DSG.
    Just this morning on my commute I got 51.8mpg.

    26 miles of backroads, M40/M42 and a bit of town. Average 42mph.

    I'm guessing the Mazda with that little torque etc making half decent progress and 50mpg would be very hard.
    What engine is the FR sport? Turbo petrol?
    the new mazda engine are NA engine, so to be comparable is unbelievable.

    Edited by stedaley on Thursday 6th June 14:36


    Edited by stedaley on Thursday 6th June 14:37

  • dukebox9reg 06 Jun 2019

    stedaley said:
    dukebox9reg said:
    I get over 50mpg out of my Leon FR Sport 190 petrol which has a much more user friendly 236lbft and 7 spd DSG.
    Just this morning on my commute I got 51.8mpg.

    26 miles of backroads, M40/M42 and a bit of town. Average 42mph.

    I'm guessing the Mazda with that little torque etc making half decent progress and 50mpg would be very hard.
    What engine is the FR sport? Turbo petrol?
    the new mazda engine are NA engine, so to be comparable is unbelievable.

    Edited by stedaley on Thursday 6th June 14:36


    Edited by stedaley on Thursday 6th June 14:37
    Yeah its the new EA888 Gen 3b. B being Budack cycle. Very clever tech and ideas to catch up to diesels at least in small to mid sized cars.

  • C.MW 06 Jun 2019

    This is incredible. Even just a decade ago no one would've had any idea that ignition combined with copression in an ICE could be possible. Mazda may just be the one that saves us from being forced to sit in bland electric appliances. Hope their long-term reliability will turn out to be solid in the next decade.

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