In the past Mazda has hinted that it may drop the current base engine in the Mazda3 and instead offer the Skyactiv powertrain as standard. According to Mazda USA PR rep Beverly Braga that won’t happen for 2013, but the Japanese automaker has made the decision to offer the Skyactive 2.0-liter as the core powertrain on more trim levels.
For 2013 all hatchback versions of the Mazda3 will get the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine, while the sedan now gains that powerplant for the i Sport sedan model. As a result, only the base i SV sedan model will retain the old 2.0-liter MZR with less power and a significantly lower 33 mpg highway rating.
Mazda saw a modest 3.1 percent sales increase for the month of June with year-to-date sales up 17.5 percent, driven by demand for its new Skyactiv powertrains.
In total 19,911 Mazdas were sold in the month of June, with 4,551 of those being the new 2012 CX-5 compact crossover. Almost double that number of Mazda3 models were moved off dealer lots, totaling 8,835 units. Perhaps most impressive of that number is that a total of 73.6 percent of Mazda3 models sold came quipped with the more fuel efficient and more expensive Skyactiv 2.0-liter 4-cylinder powertrain, capable of delivering 40 mpg on the highway.
Mazda has announced that due to the impressive demand it will double the production capacity at its powertrain plant in Hiroshima, Japan. In total, Skyactiv-equipped models accounted for 55 percent of total sales last month.