Mazda recently unveiled its new family of fuel-efficient SKYACTIV engines, and announced that the first of the powerplants would arrive in 2.0-liter form in the Mazda 3, which has been face lifted for the 2012 model year. The 40-mpg-highway rating that Mazda is forecasting is undoubtedly impressive, but a new 1.3-liter engine just revealed for the SKYACTIV line would, if it lives up to the company’s hype, really knock your socks off. The diminutive four-cylinder mill produces only 83 hp and 83 lb-ft, and makes use of direct injection and a high 14.0:1 compression ratio. But with start/stop functionality added and a variety of mechanical tweaks to prevent the sort of knocking that would otherwise plague a high-compression engine, Mazda says that installed in the 2, its 1.3 will be good for an astonishing 70 mpg on the Japanese fuel economy test cycle.
This is not to say the engine will actually return those numbers; for context, the same Japanese cycle rates the Mazda 2 with a 1.5-liter four—essentially the engine we get in the car here—at 46 mpg. Still, that’s an improvement of roughly 52 percent; that borders on incredible. The U.S.-market Mazda 2, which has 100 hp and 98 lb-ft, is rated at 29 mpg city/35 highway.
The new 1.3-liter engine launches in the 2 in Japan soon, and we imagine it will have no trouble attracting customers to the Mazda showrooms there. As for availability in the U.S., we wouldn’t count on it. That doesn’t mean we’ll do without any other SKYACTIV-powered Mazdas, though. In addition to the 3, we expect the engines to proliferate throughout the company’s lineup in the coming years.Tags: fuel economy, Mazda, Mazda 2 |