Mazda Launches Skyactiv-X Engine in Europe, Fuel Economy and Power Revealed

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Image Corey Lewis

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Mazda fans on this side of the Atlantic will have to wait patiently for their turn, as the innovative Skyactiv-X-powered Mazda 3 now available in Europe won’t show up here for some time.

On Wednesday, the company announced that continental buyers can begin placing orders for models equipped with a Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) 2.0-liter four-cylinder, tossing out fuel economy and power figures along the way.

Deliveries aren’t imminent. Like those in Japan, customers in Europe will have to wait until the fall before their vehicle arrives. Positioned (and priced) above the 2.5-liter Mazda 3 buyers know and love, the Skyactiv-X engine combines spark-controlled gasoline combustion and compression-ignition diesel tech with the aim of making more power and achieving greater fuel economy.

Mazda doesn’t have a single hybrid vehicle in its lineup, remember.

According to Mazda, the new engine makes 178 horsepower and 164 lb-ft of torque, assisted in its power and MPG goals by an 24-volt M Hybrid mild-hybrid system. Like the model sold in North America, this version of the 3 can be had as a sedan or hatch, front- or all-wheel drive, with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. (U.S. buyers see very limited stick-shift availability; Canadians, not so much.)

As Mazda’s fuel economy figures are drawn from the WLTP test cycle, a direct translation into EPA figures is a best-guess scenario. The newer WLTP cycle is more accurate than figures obtained from the previous NEDC cycle, but it still represents an upward climb from EPA figures. Fifteen percent greater? Eighteen? Twenty? You mileage will indeed vary.

Regardless, the thriftiest Mazda 3 (a manual front-drive sedan with 16-inch wheels) returns a combined 43.6 mpg on the WLTP cycle. Springing for an automatic base sedan brings that figure down to 39.2 mpg, while an AWD automatic hatch with wider 18-inch rubber naturally returns the worst fuel economy — 34.1 mpg.

Accurate North American figures will have to wait. Thus far, the automaker has not nailed down a target date for the Skyactiv-X’s arrival, with Mazda North American Operations CEO Masahiro Moro recently saying the engine is on the company’s roadmap. Mazda plans to introduce the engine in various regions when it feels the timing is right.

Tardy North American engine introductions, of course, are nothing new for Mazda.

[Image: Corey Lewis/TTAC, Mazda]

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