The head of Mazda Southern Africa’s operations has confirmed to CARmag.co.za that while the brand would like to offer its new Skyactiv-X compression ignition petrol engine locally, the country’s fuel quality is preventing it from doing so.
Speaking to us at the local launch of the new Mazda3, managing director Craig Roberts said there were no immediate plans to offer the new engine technology in South Africa.
“Hopefully we will be able to introduce it [at a later point] but basically the fuel quality is the problem,” Roberts told us.
“The nervousness is to bring it to a market where the fuel quality isn’t quite up to scratch as yet. We’re not the only market where it’s not going to be introduced for those reasons,” he pointed out.
“It’s a pity. We would have loved to have brought it [at launch of the fourth-generation Mazda3],” he said.
The new Skyactiv-X engine is considered the world’s first commercial petrol unit to combine the spark ignition of a petrol engine with the compression ignition of a diesel.
In June 2019, the Japanese firm confirmed the European-spec Mazda3 fitted with the 2,0-litre, four-cylinder Skyactiv-X powerplant would offer 132 kW at 6 000 r/min and 224 N.m at 3 000 r/min.
Claimed fuel consumption (on the latest WLTP cycle), meanwhile, would come in at 5,4 L/100 km with CO2 emissions of 96 g/km, depending on transmission and wheel size. In Europe, there will be a choice of a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission, along with either front- or all-wheel drive.
The Skyactiv-X engine is furthermore equipped with a 24 V mild-hybrid system that Mazda says improves fuel consumption and lowers emissions by “recycling energy recovered during deceleration” to power an electric motor that assists the engine.