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Mazda's Awesome New Engine Proves Not Everyone Wants EVs

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Even where EVs are extremely popular.

Mazda revealed its first-ever electric vehicle, the MX-30, late last month at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show. But that doesn't mean the Japanese automaker is about to drop the internal combustion entirely. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you recall, Mazda recently launched its advanced Skyactiv-X engine featuring the spark plug controlled compression ignition (SPCCI) technology. This gasoline-powered engine combines the spark ignition of a gasoline engine with the compression ignition of a diesel oil burner. The result is not only the excellent performance of a gasoline engine and quick torque response of a diesel motor but also a serious drop in fuel consumption and C02 emissions.

According to Automotive News Europe, the Skyactiv-X engine is proving to be a certifiable hit in Europe, one of the leading global regions for electric vehicle, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid buyers. In fact, Mazda tells the publication it's selling plenty of new vehicles powered by the Skyactiv-X engine.

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"Since we launched the engine, we are seeing a very encouraging feedback: 60 percent of the orders for the Mazda3 are currently for cars equipped with the Skyactiv-X engine, as well as 45 percent of orders for the Mazda CX-30 crossover," Mazda Europe CEO Yasuhiro Aoyama said.

For now, these are the only two models in Europe offered with Skyactiv-X. All the more impressive is that the CX-30 was launched only in October, and it's sold in Europe with gasoline, diesel, and SPCCI variants. Aoyama believes the CX-30 will become the company's best-seller in Europe. Currently, the CX-5 is the continent's top-seller. And let's not forget the eventual arrival of the MX-30 EV crossover, which is about the same size as the CX-30. If Aoyama believes the CX-30 will outsell the MX-30 in one of the best markets for EVs, then that says a lot.

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European interest in the new Skyactiv-X SPCCI powertrain is "higher than expected," Aoyama added. Skyactiv-X simply provides the best of all worlds: performance, low C02 emissions, and a complete lack of range anxiety that's associated with EVs. For now, the Skyactiv-X engine is not available in North America, but Mazda has confirmed it is evaluating a potential future launch.

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