• All-new compact architecture
  • First use of SkyActiv-X engine to boost efficiency
  • Set for LA Show debut

 

Mazda released teaser photos of the next generation 2020 Mazda3 ahead of its debut at the LA Auto Show and said the all-new compact entry will be the first of its vehicles to use its new Skyactiv-X engine technology. That technology combines the best attributes of a conventional gas and diesel engines in a new way that boosts fuel economy.

The 2020 Mazda3 will be built on a new compact vehicle architecture and embodies the company’s minimalistic Kodo design philosophy which has few lines and rounded organic shapes. From the teaser photo, it appears the Mazda3 will return in sedan and hatchback body styles. Pricing is likely to start at or slightly above where the current Mazda3 competes, $18,095 for the sedan and $19,345, both prices exclusive of $895 delivery.

New engine

If the price comes in significantly higher, however, it will be likely due to the use of the new Skyactiv-X engine technology. In brief, it uses a conventional spark to start the gasoline-fuel engine but uses what’s called compression ignition (which doesn’t need a spark) to continue running, much like a diesel. Compression ignition engines typically are more fuel efficient than regular spark-ignition engines and as a result, will help Skyactiv-X deliver higher fuel economy.

Mazda says the technology is good for a 10 to 30 percent boost in torque (again, another trait of diesel technology) and fuel economy gains ranging from 20 to 30 percent. Also, Skyactiv-X can do this on fuel with an octane as low as 80. Regular gas currently sold in the U.S. is 87 octane. Due to the nature of gasoline as opposed to diesel fuel, gas burns cleaner with little or no particulates and the lean mixture required to run the engine further helps reduce emissions. So Skyactiv-X runs cleaner without the need for expensive aftertreatment used on diesels.

The all-new 2020 Mazda Mazda3 will make its debut Nov. 27 at the LA Auto Show. Check out our coverage here.

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