Mazda releases more details of new SkyActiv-X engine with compression ignition, next-gen Mazda 3 platform

Mazda releases more details of new SkyActiv-X engine with compression ignition, next-gen Mazda 3 platform

Last month, Mazda announced that it would be introducing the world’s first production petrol engine with compression ignition technology, dubbed SkyActiv-X, in 2019. At the company’s recent global tech forum last week, Hiroshima revealed more details about the new mill and explained in plainer terms how it works.

Compression ignition allows for a much leaner air-fuel ratio (more than 30:1 as opposed to the stoichiometric ratio of 14.7:1 on a typical petrol engine, Mazda claims), which vastly improves efficiency. The only problem is that there is no way to control the timing of the ignition, so it can really only be used under very light loads.

To solve this, Mazda reduced the compression ratio of the engine just enough so that the fuel doesn’t spontaneously ignite. To kickstart the combustion process, a spark plug ignites a small amount of rich mixture around it; the resulting flame kernel raises the pressure within the combustion chamber, burning the rest of the mixture that is leaner. Mazda calls this Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI).

Mazda releases more details of new SkyActiv-X engine with compression ignition, next-gen Mazda 3 platform

With this technology, Mazda claims the engine can run on compression ignition more than 90% of the time, increasing engine efficiency by between 20 and 30% over the current SkyActiv-G engine and between 35 and 40% over a Mazda petrol engine of a similar capacity from 2008.

The technology is so effective, the company says, that the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-X engine achieves fuel efficiency that equals or even exceeds that of the 1.5 litre SkyActiv-D diesel engine. The mill is also fitted with a supercharger and is claimed to offer improved response and between 10 to 30% more torque compared to the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G engine, which Mazda says is equivalent to the larger 2.5 litre motor.

As a result, the engine is said to be highly efficient across a wide range of engine speeds and loads, enabling a much larger spread in terms of gear ratio selection – this, Mazda says, provides superior fuel economy and driving performance.

Mazda releases more details of new SkyActiv-X engine with compression ignition, next-gen Mazda 3 platform

Also announced is the company’s next-generation platform, which is expected to be used on the next Mazda 3. Developed with greater focus on a human-centred concept, it is claimed to offer a more comfortable and less tiring drive, optimising the body, suspension, seats and even the tyres to enable drivers to respond quickly to environmental changes, using the human body’s “natural ability to balance itself.”

To do this, the seats have been redesigned to keep the pelvis upright and maintain the spine’s natural S-curve, and even the mounts and other components have been made more rigid – as has the seat structure itself – to transfer inputs from the sprung mass (i.e. the vehicle body) to the driver’s body in a smoother, quicker and more direct manner.

With that settled, engineers moved on to the rest of the car to achieve the perfect response and a more direct jinba ittai driving feel. The body has been made more rigid across all four wheels by the addition of frames connected not just vertically and laterally, but also fore and aft – this creates multi-directional ring structures that enable the transfer of inputs without delay.

Mazda releases more details of new SkyActiv-X engine with compression ignition, next-gen Mazda 3 platform

The chassis has also been redesigned to optimise the functional distribution of the suspension, tyres, arms and dampers, enabling each part to work interactively to smoothly control the transfer of energy to the sprung mass. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has been improved through the use of damping nodes, damping bonds and other efficient damping structures at high-strain energy areas.

Although the new Mazda 3 won’t arrive until 2019, a concept previewing the next-generation C-segment model is expected to be unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in October.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • Toyota Mazda gambatte! Improved efficiency & performance

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3
  • Alfa Ostronesian on Sep 08, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Adhere to Euro6 emissions control standard

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
  • Long live the king...Toyota!! on Sep 08, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Aiya…i aleady say…if rosak …sent back to Japan? Cos Madza mechanics after training alwayz cabut…so anyway is onli next century launch so ok la…so many choices especillay the king…Toyota ! U cant wrong with no frills..good RV reliable good support etc etc ..all the uncle’s great great grand children oso know la Toyota is King..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 22
  • The n3xt best thing since youtube
    (Sliced bread was a long long long time ago)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
  • applegreen on Sep 08, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    what ever it is next mazda3 still losing to civic 1.5T

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 28
    • TOYOTA THE KING OF KINGS ! on Sep 08, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      Totally agree with u…not cos madza is not better..its ppls peception towarda honda..the civic is failure..the design is craps…all um ab bengs are paying thru their lungs just to have…its a repo heaven in the making..just get a camry and move on buddy…simplicity at it best..u wont regret it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6
  • Not Toyota Fan on Sep 08, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    It is INCREDIBLE how innovative Mazda is today.

    They’re bucking the trend & setting new direction. A Leader, not follower like almost every brand out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 5
    • Ohwai on Sep 08, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Nothing to shout about. New trend and direction my foot, every brands got at least EV or hybrid concept cars.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13
    • Semi-Value (Member) on Sep 08, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      have to give it to them…they continued improving the NA system…sure a turbo is much more effective but a NA engine is still more reliable and sounds better…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0
    • Yes, after so many years of straggling, Mazda finally becoming a leader to automotive industry and its technology.
      Look at all other auto makers (most of them), abandon the research on naturally aspirated (NA) engine, which they think the NA development is at the limit already, they just gave up. And here we have the Mazda, a cockroach that never die!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
  • Next generation Mazda 3 will be using torsion beam rear suspension. Can it still achieve Mazda Premium zoom zoom with semi independent rear?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Mazda done well in design, performance, and the premium feel. Great job on those! But we wish that Mazda will seriously look into the cabin size of their cars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  • Cardo on Sep 09, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Never again to mazda!!!! Used to own M6, so frustrated with after sales, technical people does not know what their doing. Ending up disposing unit less than 2 yrs at bargain price! MAZDA SUCKS!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
    • OwnedMazda on Sep 09, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Have to agreed. In this country Mazda is technically triumphed but so lack when come to after sales services. Send car for service in service center is like sending under tree mechanic. Also makes one wonder with all this effective tech, are they really efficient?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
      • Madza is like chopped liver at pot luck dinner on Sep 09, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        Trrully agrree with u bro…madza is like uber no one is touching it..u keep it after warranty u rv as well..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
      • TOYOTA THE KING OF KINGS!! on Sep 10, 2017 at 1:53 pm

        I told u guys earlier..malaysia mazda mechanics are not trained or after 1 year they cabut…wats the point of all this fancy tech when in bolehland semua tak tahu…u going to.lose a lot of money buddy…just stick with the basis..Toyota ..the king..get a camry u wont regret it mister..simplicity at ita best coupled with problem free ride for years…just ask the all the auncles..some have written in they will if u dont drive a camry u not going to get any $$$ from me..get it ..come on man…they tech is meant for japan…nice to see here but cry lots later ..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
  • Electric car mana on Sep 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    May be it was cheaper for them to develop this than going for fully electric

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Great cars in country where post sales sucks on Mar 06, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Like any other great cars coming into our country, what kills the product is the post sales by our local automotive companies. Those companies main objective are not really about customer post experience but money to fatten their own coffers. To make it worst, our own policy does not really protect the buyers but the rich top people who ,have or backed by, certain forces to stay immune. No wonder our automotive policy and growth are still weak. Be it for any car brand, local or overseas, the big pool of money is actually going to them directly or indirectly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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