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Learn About Mazda's SKYACTIV Technology from Probart Mazda

SKYACTIV is Mazda's all-inclusive moniker for using breakthrough technology and clever ideas to build cars with lower emissions and better fuel economy—all while retaining Mazda's sporty driving characteristics and accessible price point. 

Since SKYACTIV technology has spread across the Mazda lineup, now has never been a better time to check out a Mazda3, Mazda6 or CX-5 in London, Ontario. Visit our Build & Price page to spec-out your very own Mazda model and get options information.


mazda3 skyactive engine

skyactive compression

Higher compression = higher efficiency

Compression ratio is the volume of the cylinder plus combustion chamber at the bottom of its stroke versus the combustion chamber at the bottom of its stroke. Mazda gave the SKYACTIV-G (gas) engine a longer cylinder stroke, and therefore a higher compression ratio, in order to extract more energy from the air-fuel mixture. Specifically, the 2.0L and 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine get 15% more power and 15% greater fuel efficiency.

The SKYACTIV-G's incredibly high CR of 13:1 (the same as a Ferrari LaFerrari) would normally warrant expensive high-octane fuel to prevent engine knock, but as you'll see below, Mazda has engineered some ingenious methods to reduce combustion chamber temperatures and prevent detonation.

skyactive headers

4-2-1exhaust system

The SKYACTIV's unique four pipes into two and into one exhaust manifold allows hot gases to exit the combustion chamber faster than the more common 4-1 exhaust design, stopping engine knock.

skyactive piston cavity

Innovative domed piston cavity

To account for the 4-2-1 exhaust system's longer length (making it less capable of keeping the catalytic converter operationally warm) the SKYACTIV-G uses a domed piston cavity to ensure stability while delaying the ignition timing while the catalytic converter heats up on cold weather starts.

skyactive injection

High pressure direct injection

Another way Mazda was able to reduce early detonation was shortening fuel combustion time. This has been achieved by using super-high pressure fuel injectors that squirt gasoline directly into the combustion chamber at 2,900 psi through six-hole outlets. Direct injection not only creates faster ignition, but also improves vaporization and a more even air-fuel mixture throughout the chamber.

Weight and friction reduction

Decreasing rotating mass and component friction is one of the strategies engineers employ to create more power and greater fuel efficiency.

  • Lighter pistons and piston pins (20% reduction)
  • Lighter connecting rods (15% reduction)
  • Reduced piston ring tensile force (37% reduction)
  • Narrower crankshaft main journals (6% reduction in diameter, 8% reduction in width)
  • Adoption of roller finger follower (greater than 50% reduction in valve friction)
  • Adoption of compact electronic variable pressure oil pump (approx. 45% reduction in oil pumping loss)

SKYACTIV-D Twin Turbo Diesel Engine

Exceptionally clean running

Due to its incredibly low 14:1 compression ratio—the lowest of any diesel in the world—the SKYACTIV-D exceeds the highest emissions standards across the planet. Plus, it does so without the having to maintain a nitrogen oxide treatment system.

More power and greater efficiency

The SKYACTIV-D delivers the same torque numbers as a 4.0L V8, but with gas mileage that is 30% better than a similarly sized gas engine.

Lighter weight

The SKYACTIV-G wasn't the only recipient of Mazda's talents for weight savings. The SKYACTIV-D employs aluminum alloy in the crank, pistons, and block for a total engine weight savings of 10% over the previous generation.

Ignition ingenuity

Cold start ups have been an engineering problem in diesel engines for decades due to the absence of spark plugs. Mazda has solved this by designing the SYACTIV-D to open its exhaust valves slightly during the intake stroke, sucking the hot exhaust gases back into the cylinder. This action stabilizes the ignition because the hot gases increase the cylinder compression temperature.

Coming Soon!

Sporty V8-like performance, the cleanliness of today's gas engines, and the fuel efficiency of a hybrid, the SKYACTIV-D is coming soon to Canada. Sign up here to get the latest updates.

SKYACTIV-Drive 6-Speed Automatic Transmission

The new SKYACTIV-Drive transmission is the perfect pairing for the new lineup of SKYACTIV engines. This 6-speed automatic with a manual Sport mode delivers the smooth, easy operation of a traditional automatic with the involving, efficient shifts of an old-school manual.  

skyactive transmission

Mechatronic control unit for precise response

Mazda's engineers combined the transmission's computer, sensors, and shift solenoids into one control module. Think of it as your transmission's brain. It "learns" your driving behaviour so that it can better respond to your needs and maximize fuel efficiency.

Perhaps the most interesting operation the mechatronic unit controls is switching power delivery from the smooth torque converter below 8 km/h to the multi-plate clutch at higher speeds for greater performance.

mazda3 skyactive

More efficient than conventional transmissions

Thanks to an innovative torque converter lockout system that directs a more efficient transfer of engine power to the wheels, the SKYACTIV-Drive yields a 4% to 7% gain in fuel efficiency, while also providing fast, direct upshifts like a more expensive DCT transmission. This

Best features of all types of transmissions combined

  • The fuel efficiency of a manual transmission
  • Quick, direct shifting like a DCT
  • Easy to control at low speeds like a conventional automatic
Mazda 3 at Probart Mazda

SKYACTIV Body and Chassis

It’s no surprise that Mazdas are known the world over for spectacular handling and driver involvement. But this is no coincidence. Hundreds of hours are spent with Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 on the test track and in the garage to find out ways to reduce weight and improve road feel.

Chassis redesign delivers greater stability and agility

Mazda's latest chassis and suspension overhaul brought improvements in two often-incompatible areas: agility and stability:

  • Greater rear toe-in and more aggressive front camber angle for a more planted stance
  • Quicker handling due to a tighter steering ratio and electric power steering
  • Better self-centring, particularly at high speeds, thanks to an increased front caster and trail—more than any front wheel drive sedan.
  • Rear trailing arm pivot points raised to inches to improve damping through bumps and hard braking
skyactive structure

Body that's 8% lighter and 30% more rigid

By using stronger and lighter steel alloys, Mazda was able to build a body that's 8% lighter and 30% more rigid. The other key reason for these impressive numbers is that they used smarter suspension geometry. By deleting corners in each load path—as well as adding new reinforcements to the centre drivetrain tunnel, the chassis is 8% lighter.

skyactive safety

Top crash safety performance

Mazda's newest chassis design doesn’t just lend itself well to spirited driving, but to protecting you and your passengers in the event of collision. The multi-path load structure absorbs crash energy and distributes it away from passengers. This means that Mazda was able to build lighter components that are equally strong, if not stronger, than before, while also maintaining 5-star safety ratings.