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Comparison: Mazda has updated its unique diesel to petrol.  Is it really a difference?

Comparison: Mazda has updated its unique diesel to petrol. Is it really a difference?

It is an engine that the competition has not been able to successfully achieve. Gasoline burns like diesel by pressure and pressure. According to Mazda, it should achieve much-needed fuel savings and combine the desirable characteristics of gasoline and diesel. But when we went with him for the first time in a year and three quarters, there was disappointment. Mazda has now improved the unique Skyactiv X and we compare it to the original version.

Let’s start over with a little technical iteration. In the past, many companies have experimented with an engine that burns gasoline by pressure alone, but most have failed. That is why Mazda invented the SPCCI technology, which stands for spark-controlled pressure ignition, i.e. candle-controlled pressure ignition.

The engine was modified, and the design was not. The Mazda CX-30 still looks equally good, especially in the Spirit Red Crystal Red color versus 20,900 crowns. | Photo: Martin Bebebel

It is used by an engine called the Skyactiv X and works by filling the engine with a light mixture of air and gasoline (a lot of air, a little bit of gasoline) during intake, which will not ignite with a classic spark plug. However, this can be done simply by pressing the mixture, which means a fast and even combustion of the mixture.

However, since this gasoline combustion is unstable, operating only at low speeds and low loads, Mazda had to come up with a specific solution in which the compression combustion is triggered not by piston pressure, but by spark plugs. During compression, more gasoline is injected into the engine, creating a small area with a rich mixture that the spark plug ignites, and the resulting burst pressure ignites the lean mixture in the rest of the cylinder.

Thanks to the spark plug, it is also possible to convert the engine to a conventional gasoline ignition system as in a conventional gasoline engine. This happens when the driver wants full power or when the engine is too cold. However, at first, the engine was supposed to run in SPCCI mode 80 percent of the time, and as a result, the area in which it achieved good efficiency was expanding considerably.

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But when we first tried this engineering job, we were disappointed. The two liters are withdrawn without interest, without a power gradient, and the consumption is worse than in the case of the classic Skyactiv G gasoline, in contrast to the table values.

The four cylinders with a capacity of 2 liters are housed in a type of capsule that reduces the noise level.

The four cylinders with a capacity of 2 liters are housed in a type of capsule that reduces the noise level. | Photo: Martin Bebebel

Mazda claims to have managed to sell 40 percent of the Mazda 3 and SUV CX-30 hatchback with this unique engine in Europe, but this year the Skyactiv X has improved and the public will recognize the innovative version with the added letter e, the engine now called e-Skyactiv X.

The changes were not small. Engineers reduced the engine’s compression ratio from 16.3: 1 to 15 to one, changed the shape of the piston heads, adjusted the intake valve timing, recalibrated the control unit, and fine-tuned the Mouldhybrid system plug-in program.

The result is that the engine will often run in “diesel” mode, and the hybrid engine is now better suited to facilitate the transition between the two types of combustion. Engine performance and performance should be improved, and to a lesser degree consumption.

The 2-liter capacity now has 137 kW, that’s five more, and torque has increased from 224 Nm at 3,000 rpm to 240 at four thousand. In the case of the CX-30 crossover tested with automatic drive and front wheels, the declared consumption decreased from 6.5 to 6.1 liters, and today significant CO2 emissions have decreased by eight grams from 146 to 138 grams per kilometer.

Mazda deserves praise for its interior, and few people offer better ergonomics in cars in a similar price category.

Mazda deserves praise for its interior, and few people offer better ergonomics in cars in a similar price category. | Photo: Martin Bebebel

This is definitely no small thing, but Mazda is primarily interested in accounting for comparable emissions. Above all, would-be owners will want to know if the engine’s performance criticized has improved as well. That’s why we added a gray CX-30 to the older version of the Skyactiv X from Louda Auto and prepared a test track around Pardubice for both cars.

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We admit that we paid for a wide range of versions that Mazda has to offer. The Skyactiv X is available with front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive and you can always choose between manual and automatic. So both cars reached the test in two different versions.

They both had nice and mostly smooth automation, but the old gray piece added all-wheel drive. The red CX-30, the newest back to testing, has barely covered 600 kilometers on the bench. We cannot directly compare consumption, but the figures taken will still be very useful.

But let’s first dwell on the appearance of the engine, because it has improved significantly. While the older CX-30 engine still looks greasy, as if the herd of eighty-eight under the hood is at least partially scattered, the novelty is really better.

The mode in which the engine is currently running can be seen on the navigation screen.

The mode in which the engine is currently running can be seen on the navigation screen. | Photo: Martin Bebebel

More than three thousand come for a nice distance, and it seems that the car finally wakes up at about 3,500 rpm, as if it suddenly starts helping a small turbo, which, however, is not there. There is only a compressor that helps create a light mixture. The engine still lacks the diesel effect, but it provides a pleasant and well-dosed start to an atmospheric gasoline engine.

Consumption also improved. While the ATV completed the test track of the 7.2-liter, which is a tenth of a tenth of a deviation from the standard consumption, the new front wheels rode 6.4-liter, while according to the WLTP standard, it should ride the 6.1. Before the update, the figure was 6.5, which means a consumption of 6.7 to 6.8 liters on the test road.

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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 possibly increasing due to insufficient households. In any case, we confirm that the e-Skyactiv X is actually about three to four-tenths of a liter more economical than its predecessor, according to Mazda.

Plus, it’s finally an engine that fulfills the qualities of the CX-30. It is not only handsome, but is well made, comfortable, attractive to the driver and has a great ergonomics. Leaving aside a smaller trunk and ample space in the rear seats, it is one of the most exciting cars on the Czech market.

It’s a pity that Mazda has made its balanced crossover more expensive with taking care of the model. Basic gasoline with an output of 90 kW will cost eight thousand times for 594.900 crowns, and Skyactiv-X diesel-gasoline has increased by ten thousand, with slightly better equipment compared to conventional gasoline, you can buy it for 645.900.

Mazda CX-30 e-Skyactiv X186 GT AT Plus

Engine: Petrol 4 cylinder 1998 cc
Power: 137 kW at 6000 rpm.
Torque: 240 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
Top speed: 204 km / h
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h: 8.6 s
Combined consumption: 6.1 l / 100 km
Box volume: 430 liters
Price: 797,900 CZK

However, seeing a higher price, Mazda can balance it with a wealth of basic equipment, and most customers will definitely only need to pay 45,000 kronor for the Plus version. Then for less than 700,000, you will not only get a successful car with a unique engine, but also a navigation system, head-up display, automatic air conditioning or smart headlights.

In addition to the CX-30, a modified e-Skyactiv X is also offered by the manufacturer in the Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan; it is planned to also appear on other future models.