Mazda is about to reveal the 2019 Mazda3 in Los Angeles this month. While that’s a big deal, what will be stuffed under the hood should make an even bigger impact. The revolutionary Skyactiv-X engine tech will power the car, breathing new life into gasoline combustion.
Skyactiv-X technology doesn’t use a spark to ignite fuel in the cylinders, but instead relies on compression, like a diesel engine. Interestingly, the design does involve a spark plug to ignite a rich mixture, creating the pressure that causes a leaner mixture in the cylinder to combust. The result is efficiency far beyond what normal gasoline-powered engines achieve, plus emissions lower than diesel options. Mazda says it will be highly responsive at any speed. What that really means, beyond the marketing word salad, remains to be seen.
Automotive News Europe claims to have special knowledge of the Skyactiv-X powertrain in the new Mazda3. The publication says it will be a mild hybrid. Considering Mazda has been lagging behind badly in the electrification race, that would be an interesting turn of events.
We’re also treated in advance to a shadowy look at the 2019 Mazda3 in sedan and hatchback form. What you can see looks fantastic, but of course it’s not much. Mazda claims the new Mazda3 takes the Kodo design language to a “more mature interpretation.” It seems apparent the hatchback lifts some designs off the Kai Concept revealed in Geneva, but the sedan looks more buttoned-down.