Everyday we read about innovations in the automotive sector; most of the times though, the technology is used to improve only the quality of the life on board. We have examples of hybrid engines that are becoming more and more popular, as well as fully electric cars. Does this mean that the expensive and old petrol engine have really reached its peak without any possibility of improvement in terms of efficiency? Mazda answered with a dry “NO”, presenting the new Skyactive-X unit able to rewrite, at least in part, the rules of traditional engines.
Well, Mazda is the same company that makes us still dream of the stratospheric sound of the rotary engine Wankel mounted on the 787 B that participated among other races, in the 24 hours of Le Mans. This technology, specifically developed, was then transferred to the street model RX-8. So, in 2019 Mazda built this new 180 hp 2.0 power unit in an unprecedented configuration. A true hybrid engine, in the sense that it remains a brilliant petrol engine capable, thanks to Mazda’s engineers, of exploiting the operating principles and efficiency of a diesel engine. This engine is able to work by compression, as diesel engines, burning a leaner air-fuel mixture, reducing thus fuel consumption, when it is not under heavy duty. When power is needed, the engine switches to its traditional operation regime, benefiting from 224Nm of torque. The icing on the cake is the mild-hybrid technology, a 24v module that recharges in certain driving situations and assists the engine in restarts, sailing and other situations such as the management of the automobile’s electronics. This 2004-cylinder is free to turn up to 6500 rpm and in order to simplify its “double soul”, we can say that the technology allows it to work with auto ignition when you “go slowly”, while in other cases, you have your hands on a “normal” gasoline engine that works with the usual spark plugs. You should not be fooled by the presence of the compressor, because it does not serve to emphasize the performance, but only to maintain a constant flow of air, classifying in fact this engine among the aspirates.
The Kodo design is very much appreciated in Europe on the latest cars and the combination with this all-rounder engine promises to really give “that something more” to this new Mazda 3.
Mazda is offered in three different versions, all well-equipped, few additional options (many important features are standard) and a very clean and sporty interior and exterior design. There is the right combination of analog and digital instruments, which provides enough information to the drivers and the passengers. A positive note is the six-speed manual gearbox, with the small gear lever and the very short gear shifting stroke with precise clutches.
This Mazda is a very interesting car, a C-segment with a 2-litre 180 hp engine, which promises to be a good compromise for those who need a car that is suitable for everyday life, ready for long distances too. We will keep surely an eye on it.