Revealed today at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Mazda has confirmed that the SkyActiv-equipped Mazda3 will arrive at dealers in the U.S. and Canada this Fall. In addition, a diesel SkyActiv engine will be available a year later, with Mazda joining Volkswagen as the only non-premium automaker to offer a diesel in a passenger car.
Robert T. Davis, Senior VP for Quality, Research and Development at Mazda made the announcement and provided a few more details on the new technology and the SkyActiv gasoline engine, confirming that it is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes use of direct injection.
Compared to the current Mazda3, the SkyActiv model will achieve a roughly 20 percent improvement in fuel economy, with 15 percent coming from the engine itself, while an additional four to seven percent improvement is attributed to the new SkyActiv-drive transmission.
Davis commented that price makes electric and hybrid technology prohibitive and so Mazda is pursuing improvements to its internal combustion engines and will look to add start-stop systems and cut weight in the near future. Speaking to reporters he explained that Mazda will deliver the fuel economy of a B segment car in the C segment, the fuel economy of a diesel engine in a gasoline one, and the fuel economy of a hybrid in a diesel.
More: Mazda3 SkyActiv on Sale This Year With 20% Fuel Economy Improvement, Diesels in 2012 on AutoGuide.com