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Mazda 3 and CX-30 With E-Skyactiv X Technology

Achieving Significantly Lower Emissions and Consumption

Mazda, the brand from Hiroshima, launches its new e-Skyactiv X engine, which achieves significantly lower fuel consumption and emissions by incorporating this technology into its larger models: Mazda 3 and Mazda CX-30.

02 Sep 2021

Mazda is a brand already very accustomed to marking technological milestones with its creations. Now, it has done it again with its new gasoline engine lean mix e-Skyactiv X with four cylinders and 2.0 litres. The new model offers greater power (6 hp more) and increases torque by 1.6 mkg to achieve 186 hp maximum power and 22.8 mkg maximum torque at 4,000 rpm.

This addition also improves emissions and consumption very directly, allowing the luxury of also lowering a very high compression ratio for a gasoline engine, from 16.3:1 to 15.0:1, which are already almost at diesel engine levels.

Mazda 3 and CX-30 With E-Skyactiv X Technology.- How the New Engine Works

These are very technical aspects, but we will try to explain them as simply as possible.

The new e-Skyactiv X technology is a major improvement over the familiar Skyactiv X engine. That design gave 180 hp at 6,000 rpm and 21.2 mkg of torque at 3,000 rpm. It used spark plug ignition at very high revs (SPCCI, or “Spark Controlled Compression Ignition”) and compression at medium and low revs, with air injection control through its volumetric compressor and soft hybridisation (Mild hybrid — Mazda M Hybrid). 

To clarify, the SPCCI is a Mazda-patented system whereby the compression created by focused combustion (initiated by a spark plug spark) is used to create the pressure and temperature that the engine needs to make compression ignition possible.

These improvements with the new e-Skyactiv X technology are based on many detailed software modifications to the soft hybridisation at 24 V to achieve much faster ignition, with faster combustion control thanks to smaller-headed pistons and a new camshaft with new intake valves.

All this directly influences the rev ranges so that it can work with a lean fuel mixture (gasoline in this case). This new engine alternates mixture ignition compression with fuel injection at the highest pressure, has cylinder pressure sensors, new waste gas recirculation valves (exhaust), a new 3-way catalyst, a specific particulate filter and an inverter generator (ISG) that also boosts the starter.

The reduction in consumption and emissions that it achieves, together with the higher power and improved torque, is evident in the following comparison table, starting from its really efficient predecessor:

 

Mazda 3 Sedan

Manual gearbox

front-wheel-drive

Mazda 3

Manual gearbox

 front-wheel-drive

DIFFERENCE

Power

180 hp

186 hp

+ 6 hp

Certified Consumption

5.4 l/100 km

  1. l/100 km

-0.4 l/100 km

Certified CO2 emissions

122 g/km

114 g/km

-8 g/km

Maximum torque

21.2 mkg at 3,000 rpm

22.8 mkg at 4,000 rpm

+1.6 mkg at +1,000 rpm

Applying this new technology achieved the following performance figures (all WLTP combined) for consumption and CO2 emissions, depending on the versions and contents chosen:

  • Mazda 3: 5 - 6.5 l/100 km and 114 - 146 g/km CO2 emissions
  • Mazda CX-30: 5.7 - 6.6 l/100 km and 128 - 149 g/km CO2 emissions

Mazda 3 and CX-30 With E-Skyactiv X Technology.- What They Are Like To Drive

Something very clear and evident is that although an 186 hp engine has very sporty handling, in this case, the manufacturer stresses that this is not the reason for this change and that neither the Mazda 3 nor the CX-30 can be classified as sports cars.

In fact, this extra power increase to 186 hp at 6,000 rpm aims to generate a greater thrust in low and medium speeds, saving on fuel and emissions in parallel, thanks to the lean mixture that is achieved (14.7 parts of air for each part of gasoline) at cold start, driving at high revs and when the engine is still warming up.

Both models have a large central display which, in addition to the micro-hybrid energy flow monitor, has an SPCCI indicator for checking that the system is working efficiently. A green light indicates that the whole system is working optimally with its fuel savings and CO2 emissions, and otherwise, it shows red.

The test drive of the CX-30 compact SUV showed that the new system is on 95% of the time the car is in use, both in urban and road traffic. The best way to achieve these improvements is to drive smoothly and avoid accelerating abruptly. In any case, you can still drive in a fairly agile way with optimum performance in a rev range even above 4,500 rpm, as long as you avoid accelerating too abruptly.

Driving the new e-Skyactiv X engine feels very pleasant on any kind of road, with a smooth, progressive start on urban roads without needing high revs and with a great thrust on the road from 2,500 - 3,000 rpm. Starting is also very smooth with the Start & Stop system and always maintains the consumption reductions for which this new technology has been created.

At speed, it also helps the steering of both models, especially in town. Even on the first test drive with this new system, driving was a pleasure in every way; very quiet, with a nice feel and the tyres are good on the road.

Mazda 3 and CX-30 With E-Skyactiv X Technology.- Range, Finishes and Official Prices

The e-Skyactiv X versions of the Mazda 3 (4 and 5 doors) and the CX 30 are already on sale with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (in both models) and with manual or 6-speed automatic gearboxes in all cases. All the finishes and versions have the ECO environmental label from Spain’s DGT (Directorate-General for Traffic), with all the benefits that it brings.

Buyers can choose from Mazda’s existing range of finishes, which are practically grouped for both models into Origin, Evolution, Zenith, Zenith Safety and 100th Anniversary, with a range of colour combinations and specific accessories.

There are many possible combinations of versions and variants, and the official pricing (without discounts, promotions or government grants) are in the following ranges:

Mazda CX-3 2021 e-Skyactiv X: from €27,645€ to €36,145

Mazda CX-30 2021 e-Skyactiv X: from €32,075€ to €42,325

Source: Motor Mundial magazine