Mazda3The revolutionary Skyactiv-X M Hybrid engine has gone on sale in Australia, at this time it’s only in the Mazda3. It will be available with Mazda CX-30 from September.

The world’s first production petrol unit to exploit the benefits of diesel-like compression ignition, new 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X M Hybrid is the next step in Mazda’s multi-solution approach to reducing emissions.

Skyactiv-X is characterised by Mazda’s revolutionary Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI). This new engineering concept allows the engine to switch seamlessly between conventional spark ignition and compression ignition combustion by using a spark to trigger both types of combustion in different ways.

In SPCCI mode, a split injection process creates separate zones of fuel-air mixture inside the combustion chamber. First, a very lean fuel to air mixture is injected into the chamber during the intake stroke. Then a zone of atomised fuel is precisely injected directly around the spark plug during the compression stroke.

Mazda3_Skyactiv-X_badgeThe small injection of atomised fuel directly around the spark plug builds a richer core. When the spark fires it ignites this core of fuel and air. This increases pressure in the combustion chamber to the point where the lean mixture rapidly combusts.

Skyactiv-X also features the Mazda M Hybrid system. This has a belt-driven integrated starter generator (ISG) and a 24V lithium-ion battery. It uses energy recovered during deceleration, functioning as an electric motor, to assist the engine.

We will borrow vehicles from Mazda to carry out our normal road tests and give our opinions immediately afterwards.


Manufacturer’s List Price for the X20 Mazda3 Astina is $40,590 with a manual gearbox and $41,590 with auto. Contact your local Mazda dealership for drive-away pricing.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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