Mazda e-Skyactiv X engine revealed – clever compression ignition petrol updated

More power, lower emissions and improvised drivability promised for Mazda’s clever petrol engine

Mazda has announced a series of small refinements to its clever Skyactiv X petrol engine that will debut in the 2021 model year Mazda 3 and CX-30. Promising to unlock more power and torque while reducing emissions, the changes signal Mazda’s continual refinement of its clever variable ignition system as the technology matures in the market. 

Available in upper-level Mazda 3 and CX-30 models, the new e-Skyactiv X engine is based on the same supercharged and mild-hybrid 2-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, but features a lower 15.0:1 compression ratio, re optimised combustion cycle, new pistons and a software update to the mild-hybrid system. 

The changes have resulted in a 6bhp peak power rise to 186bhp, and torque is rated 11lb ft higher at 177lb ft, but the key is where these figures are reached, with more power and torque available lower down in the rev range improving drivability in the midrange. Attention has also been paid to more effectively using the integrated starter motor generator to further flatten the torque curve.

Fuel consumption and emissions have also been reduced, which depending on the model is up to 2mpg and 12g/km cleaner than previously. This continual refinement also bodes well for the next generation of Skyactiv X powertrains due in the next 12-24 months, as Mazda prepares to launch a new range of straight-six petrol engines, in its next generation model lineup.

Mazda’s unique approach to engineering more often than not culminates in interesting, if not entirely rational powertrains. As one of few examples of blue-sky thinking in combustion engine design, Skyactiv X technology certainly has its merits, but from our experience is still a technology in its infancy. Hopefully this update will be a step in the right direction.

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Categories: Road


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