It is an engine that the competition has not managed to bring to a successful end. Gasoline burns like diesel, by compression, by compression. According to Mazda, it should bring much-needed fuel savings and combine the desired properties of gasoline and diesel. But when we went with him for the first time a year and a quarter ago, there was a disappointment. Mazda has now improved its unique Skyactiv X and we have compared it with the original version.
Let us have to start again with a bit of technical repetition. In the past, many companies have tried an engine that would burn gasoline by compression alone, but most have failed. That's why Mazda came up with SPCCI technology, which means Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, ie candle-controlled compression ignition.
It is used by an engine called the Skyactiv X and works by filling the engine with a lean mixture of air and petrol (lots of air, little petrol) during intake, which would not ignite with a classic spark plug. However, this could be done by simply compressing the mixture, which would mean a rapid and homogeneous burning of the mixture.
However, because such gasoline combustion is unstable, operating only at low speeds and low loads, Mazda had to come up with a specific solution in which compression combustion is not triggered by piston pressure, but by a spark plug. During the compression, a little more gasoline is injected into the engine, creating a small area with a rich mixture that the spark plug ignites, and the pressure of the resulting explosion ignites the lean mixture in the rest of the cylinder.
Thanks to the spark plug, the engine can also be switched to conventional petrol ignition as in a conventional petrol engine. This is when the driver wants full power or the engine is too cold. Originally, however, the engine was supposed to run in SPCCI mode for 80 percent of the time, and as a result, the area in which it achieves good efficiency was to expand significantly.
But when we first tried this engineering feat, we were disappointed. The two-liter pulled without interest, without power gradation, and the consumption was worse than in the case of the classic petrol Skyactiv G, contrary to the table values.
Mazda claims that it managed to sell 40 percent of Mazda 3 and SUV CX-30 hatchbacks with this unique engine in Europe, but this year Skyactiv X has improved and the public will recognize the innovated version by the added letter e, the engine is now called e-Skyactiv X .
The changes were not small. Engineers reduced the engine's compression ratio from 16.3: 1 to fifteen to one, changed the shape of the piston heads, adjusted the timing of the intake valves, recalibrated the control unit, and fine-tuned the auxiliary mild hybrid system software.
The result is that the engine will run more often in diesel mode, the hybrid is now better to smooth the transitions between the two types of the combustion process. The performance of the engine, its performance, and, to a lesser extent, consumption are to be improved.
The two-liter now has 137 kilowatts, which is five more, the torque has risen from 224 Nm at 3,000 rpm to 240 at four thousand. In the case of the tested CX-30 crossover with automatic and front-wheel drive, the stated consumption dropped from 6.5 to 6.1 liters, and today such important carbon dioxide emissions fell by eight grams from 146 to 138 grams per kilometer.
This is certainly not a small thing, but Mazda is mainly interested in similar emissions accounting. Above all, potential owners will want to know if the criticized engine performance has also improved. That's why we added a gray CX-30 to the older version of Skyactiv X from the Louda Auto dealership and prepared a test route around Pardubice for both cars.
We admit that we have paid for the wide range of versions that Mazda offers. Skyactiv X is available with front and all-wheel drive and you can always choose between manual and automatic. Both cars, therefore, arrived at the test in two different versions.
Both had a nice and mostly smooth-shifting automat, but the older, gray piece added all-wheel drive. The red, newer CX-30 again arrived at the test, barely covered with 600 kilometers on the counter. So we can't compare consumption directly, but the numbers taken will be quite helpful.
But first, let's stop at the manifestation of the engine because it has improved significantly. While the older CX-30 still has the engine looking greasy, as if the one-eighty-horsepower herd under the hood had at least partially scattered, the novelty is really better.
Over three thousand comes to a pleasant haul, the car seems to finally wake up around 3500 rpm, as if suddenly began to help a small turbo, which, however, does not have. There is only a compressor that helps to create a lean mixture. The engine still lacks the impact of diesel, but offers a pleasant and well-dosed onset of the naturally aspirated gasoline engine.
Consumption has also improved. While the ATV completed the test route for 7.2 liters, which is a two-twentieth deviation from the standard consumption, the new front-wheeler rode for 6.4 liters, while according to the WLTP standard, it should ride for 6.1. Before the modernization, the figure was 6.5, which would mean a consumption of 6.7 to 6.8 liters on the test route.
We can say this due to the fact that the differences compared to the paper values are similar in both cases, with the red car probably increased due to insufficient captivity. In any case, we confirm that the e-Skyactiv X actually runs approximately three to four-tenths of a liter more economically than its predecessor, according to Mazda.
In addition, it is finally an engine that meets the qualities of the CX-30. It is not only handsome but well made, comfortable, attractive to the driver and has great ergonomics. Leaving aside a smaller trunk and ample space in the rear seats, it is one of the most interesting cars on the Czech market.
It's a pity that Mazda also made its balanced crossover more expensive with model care. Basic gasoline with an output of 90 kW will cost eight thousand times for 594,900 crowns, diesel-petrol Skyactiv-X has risen in price by ten thousand, with slightly better equipment compared to conventional petrol, you can buy it for 645,900.
Mazda CX-30 e-Skyactiv X186 GT AT Plus
Engine: petrol 4-cylinder, 1998 cm3
Power: 137 kW at 6000 rpm.
Torque: 240 Nm at 4000 rpm.
Top speed: 204 km / h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 8.6 s
Combined consumption: 6.1 l / 100 km
Trunk volume: 430 l
Price from: 797 900 CZK
At the sight of a higher price, however, Mazda can balance with a wealth of basic equipment, most customers will certainly only need to pay 45 thousand crowns for the Plus version. Then for less than 700,000, you will get not only a successful car with a unique engine but also navigation, head-up display, automatic air conditioning, or smart matrix headlights.
In addition to the CX-30, the modified e-Skyactiv X is also offered by the manufacturer in the Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan. It is planned that it will also appear in other future models.