This clever new Skyactiv-X engine is the first production unit to feature compression ignition technology. The system essentially exploits the benefits of both petrol and diesel engines.
Mazda is promising this unit offers the higher revs of a petrol engine with the torquier response offered from a diesel unit. The engine itself is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit producing 178bhp. The end result is an engine that combines excellent performance with low running costs. Mazda claims a fuel economy figure of 52.3mpg, but the highlight is the low CO2 emissions.
With the five-door hatch, the CO2 figure is 100g/km, but this drops to 96g/km with the new four-door saloon. This latter option will be launched at the same time as this new engine. It joins the regular hatchback, which has been on sale since June.
Just like the standard Mazda3 petrol engine, the Skyactiv-X engine also features mild-hybrid technology, which includes a lithium-ion battery capable of supplying energy to the car’s electrical equipment.
The £23,555 starting price buys the Sport model, which features satellite navigation, a head-up display and LED headlights. Sport Lux (from £24,875) versions add a reversing camera, heated front seats and keyless entry, with GT Sport (from £26,675) models adding electric leather seats, a heated steering wheel and Bose sound system.See Available Mazda deals
The range-topping GT Sport Tech (from £27,575) adds a 360-degree around-view camera and an intelligent driver monitoring system. This top-spec model is also available with all-wheel-drive, which is the first time a Mazda 3 has sent its power to all four wheels.
The Skyactiv-X engine will arrive in UK showrooms in October alongside the new Saloon variant, which is identically priced to the hatchback.
Jeremy Thomson, managing director of Mazda UK, said: “I’m very excited about the arrival of the Skyactiv-X engine; this is another example of Mazda’s convention defying powertrain innovation.
“Offering our customers a truly unique blend of fuel economy, low emissions and performance from a petrol engine, Skyactiv-X adds a unique selling point to the new Mazda3.”