If this spec sheet from Mazda Slovakia is to be believed, the much anticipated Skyactiv-X engine, expected to debut on the all-new Mazda 3 will have an output of 181 hp and 222 Nm – highly respectable numbers considering that it’s only a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine and will easily top its class for fuel efficiency.
The Skyactive-X petrol engine utilises a new combustion technology dubbed the Spark Controlled Compression Ignition or SPCCI – think of it as a marriage between petrol and diesel combustion processes which Mazda has invested and refined over the years.
The technology capitalises on a high compression ratio (16:1) along with a lean fuel-air mixture to harness a ‘rapid and simultaneous’ combustion that begins via a small initial spark (yes, there will still be spark plugs). The resulting micro ignition first raises the temperature and pressure within the combustion chamber which then facilitates a compression ignition akin to a diesel engine, which pushes the pistons down stronger and longer to generate more torque.
We tested a Mazda 3 prototype powered by a Skyactiv-X engine last year at Mazda’s Mine proving ground and came away mightily impressed with Mazda’s resolve to extract the most out of the internal combustion engine with Skyactiv-X.
Even though the engine then was still a work-in-progress (you can hear the ‘knocks’ at part throttle), it was already smoother, torquier and more refined compared to the existing 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine, based on A-B observations.
The new generation Mazda 3 is expected to arrive in Malaysia within 2019 (possibly in CBU form), let’s hope Skyactiv-X will be making its debut then. Talk about sexy technology in an equally sexy-looking car.