Mazda's Hesitating Over Skyactiv-x For U.s. Market

Mazda's hesitating over Skyactiv-X for U.S. market

We've been watching Mazda roll out the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-X engine in Japan and Europe, waiting our turn. When European authorities released fuel economy information for the high-tech motor last June, we wrote, "Mazda has yet to make an official decision on timing for the U.S market's launch of the engine." Automotive News spoke to Mazda engineers in charge of the powertrain, and based on the answers AN got, the question might not be when we get the Skyactiv-X, but if. Seems that the automaker now isn't certain whether the cost/benefit analysis for the U.S. market favors the engine, and there's concern the 2.0-liter might not be powerful enough for us with its current output of 178 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. At the moment, our Mazda3 is served only with a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine producing 186 hp and 186 lb-ft., not too far ahead of the Skyactiv-X. The Skyactiv-X would return better fuel economy, but requires a noteworthy price premium over the Skyactiv-G. The Truth About Cars says the Skyactiv-X has become the top-seller in the Japanese-market Mazda3, even though it costs 27% more than the base, 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G for a 9% improvement in fuel economy. Mazda's not sure U.S. customers would care much for that kind of math. Engineer Yoshiaki Yamane told AN, "Maybe U.S. customers require more power, because fuel economy is not the top requirement." There isn't much Mazda can do about the tech-heavy engine's cost, since pricey equipment like the high-pressure fuel injection and combustion systems, supercharger, three-way catalyst, and 24-volt mild-hybrid system provide the mileage gains that are the engine's reason for being. Instead, engineers are researching the system's effects with larger displacements. If it works as desired, a larger and more powerful Skyactiv-X could come to the U.S. on the large-vehicle architecture Mazda's developing for new sedans to arrive in a couple of years. That's the hope, at least. Remember, Mazda's Skyactiv-D was meant to go into the 2014 Mazda6, but didn't because Mazda said it needed more time to find "the right balance between fuel economy and Mazda-appropriate driving performance." After five years of "Soon," the engine showed up on the 2019 CX-5 that starts at $42,045. Based on that template, it could be awhile before we know how the U.S.-market Skyactiv-X story ends.

Are Toyota And Lexus Planning To Use Mazda's Straight-six And New Platform?

Are Toyota and Lexus planning to use Mazda's straight-six and new platform?

Japan's Best Car magazine has what appears to be a whopper of a rumor. The mag said it scooped Mazda's development of a straight-six engine that Mazda only revealed in March, the carmaker having buried the information in a financial statement. By way of Lexus Enthusiast and according to Google translate, Best Car writes that as it was speaking to a Toyota source on an unrelated matter, the magazine found out that Mazda's work on the straight-six was predicated on the engine's use in Toyota Group vehicles, which includes Lexus.

Here's the account of how the engine and Mazda's coming front-engined rear-drive platform, dubbed "Large Architecture," will make their way to Toyota City:

Mazda's Electric Car Will Finally Launch In 2020

Mazda's Electric Car Will Finally Launch In 2020

We expect that eventually, all our cars will become fully electric. This seems like a logical progression given the focus and emphasis placed on sustainability, and many car makers have actually been increasing their efforts at making EVs. Heck, even non-car companies such as Walmart are also doing their part by expanding on the number of charging stations available at their stores.

Oddly enough, Mazda has actually been rather quiet about its EV efforts, but that is expected to change soon because the company has confirmed their plans for their first EV that will debut in 2020. This is according to an interview that Mazda’s CEO Akira Marumoto did with Automotive News Europe where he revealed that the company’s first EV will be launching in 2020.

Mazda's Skyactiv-x Power And Efficiency Ratings Released In Europe

Mazda's Skyactiv-X power and efficiency ratings released in Europe

Mazda's long-awaited Skyactiv-X engine is finally headed for production, though not yet for the United States. The Japanese automaker says "various European countries" will get access to the unique engine in the Mazda3 starting this fall. Still, the announcement is relevant to the rest of us because we now have official power levels and fuel efficiency numbers that we can use to compare the Skyactiv-X with other engines offered in the compact Mazda.

First, the power. According to Mazda, the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-X makes 178 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. By way of comparison, the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine currently used in the Mazda3 here in the States makes 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Sure, it's a little less powerful, but note that the displacements don't match and remember that the real reason the Skyactiv-X exists is to reduce fuel consumption.