By on November 19, 2013
Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept

Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept

Last week,  Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said that the company had no plans for a production Wankel rotary anytime in the near future, though the company most identified with the engine that goes “hmmmm” will continue to do research on rotaries. Now, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda is showing that its future powertrain plans include diesel, natural gas and hybrid drives.

The Mazda3 SKYACTIV-CNG Concept is a dual fuel vehicle that has tanks for both gasoline and compressed natural gas. It used a modified version of Mazda’s 2.0 liter four that’s currently available in the Mazda3. The Mazda3 is sold as the Axela in Japan and the company is also introducing the Axela SKYACTIV-HYBRID. The 2.0 L four cylinder hand has had the compression ration increased to a whopping 14.0:1 and it and a 84 HP electric motor drive the front wheels through an electronically controled CVT.

Like the Toyota Prius it used NiMH batteries and like the Prius it has a total of 134 HP. Fuel efficiency based on Japan’s JC08 standard is rated at 72.4 MPG. Finally, Mazda is announcing that the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 clean diesel engine, soon to be available in the U.S. in the Mazda, will be offered in Japanese domestic market versions of the CX-5 and the Mazda3. It will be interesting to see what kind of torque-steer the Mazda3 can develop with 310 lb-ft of twist.

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10 Comments on “2013 Tokyo Motor Show: Mazda Goes Forward With CNG, Hybrids, Diesels...”

  • avatar

    Is the diesel a decent motor? I want a 6 wagon w/ diesel for the wife but have heard that motor has some issues but that may be internet legend.

    • 0 avatar

      The diesel has reports of rising oil levels if you drive it for short trips. It has to do with the particulate filter catching unburned fuel, re-injecting it into the engine, but it ends up in the crankcase oil. (Or something to that effect–I won’t claim to understand all the pieces.)

      If you routinely drive long distances, you should have no problems. If you check your oil regularly and are willing to change your oil if/when it’s high, you should have no problems.

      The diesel hits the US in approx. April 2014. I’m definitely going to test drive it, but I think with my current short daily commute, it probably won’t be right for me. I’m also holding out hope for either a 6 wagon or a Speed6. I would also settle for a Speed6 wagon if I had to.

  • avatar

    i would be surprised if the mazda 6 comes in wagon form in the usa. we have been hearing that it will get a diesel for quite some time now. until just now i did not realize that the diesel wasn’t even offered in japan yet.

    i think i will believe that diesel engine in this country when i actually see it.

    • 0 avatar

      The diesel *is* offered in Japan. There were reports that it had an 80% take rate in the CX-5 there. I can’t say I’ve seen anything about the diesel 6 there, though.

      If Japan is like other markets, the 3 would get the detuned diesel that only nets ~150 hp & 280 lb-ft of torque.

  • avatar

    Compression RATIO. Not ration, which is a set quantity of supplies such as food or water.

  • avatar

    Mazda – please do the Diesel with AWD in the Mazda 3. Peel off some of those skyrocketing Subaru sales.

  • avatar

    Why can no car company make a 6 seater with a high mileage diesel? Mazda’s going to start selling the Mazda 6 with a diesel here in the states but what about a family car? There are no exciting cars with seating for at least 6 people that aren’t expensive and European. Mazda please make a diesel Mazda 5.

    • 0 avatar

      You are more likely to see a diesel in the CX-9. It’s one glaring flaw is poor efficiency, and a diesel would fix that while providing enough torque to haul it around.

      The 5 gets no love, and will be one of the last to be updated.

      I think most everyone will disagree with you that a “family car” needs to seat six. Midsize sedans like the 6 are nearly universally known as family cars.

  • avatar

    I’ve been waiting for 2 years for the Skyactiv engine in the Mazda5 and it’s still not available (not even for 2014) so I’m sick and tired of Mazda’s promising all of these alternative engine with nothing to show at the end of the day.

  • avatar

    Sooo interesting to me and I love my two covered light Miatas. This is uncanny and getting closer to my ideal power train. Read my blog on or just click on my name. They are claiming great performance numbers, but I am saying three times these are where we are heading… and, yes, they can be built right now with off the shelf parts.

    They as so good that we could do a well integrated hybrid and use it to power your house at cheaper than current power company rates and thus be independent of the grid… That is my dream… a car/home integrated system. Eventually, it could reduce your overall costs to a fraction of what you are currently paying for gasoline and electricity would be a part of that cost and that is not the end of the benefits.

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