According to a report by Automotive News, the take-up rate of Mazda’s SkyActiv-X engine in Europe has been higher than expected, so much so that it came as a surprise to the Japanese carmaker. The petrol engine with compression ignition technology is available on the Mazda 3 and CX-30, albeit at a higher price than other powertrains.

“Since we launched the engine, we are seeing a very encouraging feedback: 60% of the orders for the Mazda 3 are currently for cars equipped with the SkyActiv-X engine, as well as 45% of orders for the Mazda CX-30 crossover,” revealed Yasuhiro Aoyama, CEO of Mazda Europe.

The SkyActiv-X engine uses what Mazda calls Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI), which combines the spark ignition of a traditional petrol engine with the compression ignition of a diesel engine. This is said to deliver 30% better fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, while providing drivers with free-revving performance and superior response.

Offered with a 2.0 litre displacement, the four-cylinder mill also features a supercharger and a mild-hybrid 24-volt system (called M Hybrid), producing 180 PS and 224 Nm of torque. Based on official figures for the German market, the engine has a rated combined fuel consumption of as low as 4.5 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 103 g/km.