Mazda recently unveiled its new 2012 Mazda3 model, a mid-cycle update with one important change under the hood. Along with some cosmetic updates, the 3 gets Mazda’s new SkyActiv engine. At the time, Mazda was only willing to say that it was a direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, targeting a 20 percent fuel economy improvement, while also adding low-end and mid-range torque.
No specific numbers are available, but according to Car & Driver a prototype version of the engine was able to make 163-hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. That’s up from 148-hp and 135 lb-ft in the current 2.0-liter, and down only slightly from the larger 2.5-liter engine.
Better yet, like the prototype, Mazda is targeting a 40-mpg highway rating with 30-mpg in the city, up significantly from 25/33-mpg with the current 2.0-liter and a drastic improvement from the 22/29-mpg rating of the 2.5. Aiding the improvement is a new 6-speed automatic transmission.
Debuting first in the Mazda3, it’s also expected to become the base powerplant for the next-generation Mazda6.
The 2012 Mazda3 will go on sale this Fall.
GALLERY: 2012 Mazda3
[Source: Car & Driver]
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