Mazda SKYACTIV-G 1.3 direct-injection gasoline engine

Mazda SKYACTIV-G 1.3 direct-injection gasoline engine

Mazda has taken the wraps off a new ‘downsized’ engine displacing just 1.3-liters but developing upwards of 83 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque thanks to a couple of neat features. The tiny four-cylinder gasoline engine falls under the umbrella of Mazda’s SKYACTIV range of green technologies and is destined to power the Mazda2 hatchback in Japan later this year.

In the U.S. the Mazda2 comes equipped with a 1.5-liter mill with 100 horsepower so there’s a very strong chance that we’ll see the 1.3-liter unit make its way to local shores eventually. We already saw Mazda unveil its Mazda3 fitted with a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine at the recent 2011 New York Auto Show, an engine that promises an EPA-rated highway fuel economy figure of 40 mpg for some versions of the popular compact car.

As for the new 1.3-liter engine, it features direct-injection technology and a relatively high--for a production gasoline mill--14.0:1 compression ratio. In order to avoid knocking--an unavoidable issue with conventional high-compression engines--Mazda's new engine features a number of new technologies, such as piston cavities that are specially designed to support ideal combustion, and multi-hole injectors that enable precise fuel injection control.

In Japan the engine will also be linked to an autonomous stop-start system and continuously variable transmission (CVT) to help save even more fuel. According to Mazda, fuel economy in the Mazda2 hatch is bumped up to as high as 70 mpg, though this is on the somewhat generous Japanese combined cycle.

Nevertheless, Mazda’s new range of SKYACTIV engines shows that the internal combustion gasoline engine has plenty of life left in it. Let’s hope we get a taste of it here in the U.S.

For our own first drive of the Mazda2 equipped with the regular 1.5-liter mill, click here.


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