Inside the Mazda Skyactiv X engine

Inside the Mazda Skyactiv X engine


Just what is the big deal about the all new Mazda Skyactiv X technology? You often hear about technology that’s promised to change the world and the future. We don’t drive flying cars yet but overlooking Mazda’s new engine tech would be foolish to say the least.

Innovation isn’t easy, especially in the world of automotive tech. In a market of copy cats and cheap knock off parts, it seems as though innovation has been stagnant on the stage of engine performance.

Every now and again however, there’s something truly remarkable that comes along, something so great that even the harshest of critics must stand up and take notice. That something could be the Mazda Skyactiv X engine.

What is Mazda Skyactiv X technology?

If you are an automotive enthusiast or an engine tuner, chances are you have heard about a new technology that promises to change everything. Well the Mazda Skyactiv X engine could be that one true game changer.

Before you delve into just what goes into the Mazda Skyactiv X technology, you need to understand what makes it so special. In order to grasp what the Mazda Skyactiv X tech really means, you’ll need to do something else first.

Forget what you know about traditional engines

Or that’s what Dave Coleman, the Mazda North America Vehicle Development Engineer leads off with when explaining the Skyactiv X. It starts with the efficiency of the engine, and forgetting the basics of octane and combustion.

What would you say if someone were to tell you that the Mazda Skyactiv X thrives on low octane fuel? Not only that but Mazda’s new engine can outperform many other engines in it’s class despite this fact. Want to learn more? Read on below.

What makes Mazda Skyactiv X so great?

Part of the greatness in Mazda’s new engine is how it chucks conventional wisdom out the window. Conventional wisdom would dictate that lower octane fuel would result in a blown up engine. Not so says the Mazda Skyactiv X engine, which thrives on low octane while producing efficient, clean power.

Utilizing what Mazda calls Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, SCCI is the cornerstone of the new engine design. The Mazda Skyactiv X compresses the combustion chamber using a supercharger that sends air directly into the engine itself.

By combining the compression qualities of a diesel, yet keeping the core of a combustion engine, the Mazda Skyactiv X truly stands alone. Compression ignition is not a new technology, in fact GM and Hyundai both have their own versions of HCCI. But both of those versions have been hamstrung by reliability and vibration issues.

This is where the Mazda Skyactiv X engine sets itself apart. With an extremely robust power delivery and increased reliability, this technology could redefine engines as we know them.

What’s different about the Mazda Skyactiv X Engine?

The Mazda Skyactiv X engine compresses and increases compression in a manner that’s very similar to a diesel engine. By compressing the combustion chamber to the point before pre-detonation, it could change the way in which we think about engines in general.

Mazda uses cylinder pressure monitors and ambient condition sensors, the engine times the ignition of spark at just the right moment. This is a far deviation from a traditional combustion engine, which sprays fuel and fires the spark plug along timing.

Lean Combustion – By using a lower octane engine and compressing the combustion charge, the Skyactiv X loves low octane fuel. With this lean combustion as the base of performance, the Skyactiv X engine produces lower emissions and superior performance.

Compression on Demand – Although the optimum compression for a traditional combustion engine is 14:1, the Skyactiv-X is far less demanding. Because of the design of the engine, the Mazda Skyactiv X requires less than half of that air. That leads to a higher efficiency threshold and an engine that uses every single bit of energy to get the job done.

Lower Combustion Gas Temperatures – Lower EGT’s mean there’s less energy wasted through the cooling system. This means that the Mazda Skyactiv X engine is thermally superior than most combustion engines, and does it cooler and quieter than a diesel.


Mazda has not yet announced what vehicle this engine will be fitted with, but we cannot wait to see it in action. What do you think about the all new Mazda Skyactiv X engine?  Leave us a comment below and let us know!