SkyActiv Rules! New CX-3: No Hybrid, But Potential Sports Model Photo:
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Tim O'Brien | Nov, 20 2014 | 5 Comments

Speaking with TMR today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mazda Program Manager, Michio Tomiyama, confirmed that SkyActiv technology will continue to rule for Mazda drivetrains for the foreseeable future.

He also said that there was no hybrid range in prospect, nor hydrogen - the latter which Toyota and other makers are investing heavily in - for Mazda's global range.

Mazda Program Manager, Michio Tomiyama." class="small img-responsive"/>
Mazda Program Manager, Michio Tomiyama.

The reason: SkyActiv diesel engines with a range of more than 1000 kilometres for the new CX-3 compact SUV and others of the Mazda model line-up.

As proof of its direction, Mazda has officially been judged by the US EPA as having the most fuel efficient fleet in North America.

It also thinks it can wring another 30 percent of economy and emissions improvements from its SkyActiv engines.

As far as a hybrid for the CX-3? No chance. "There is no provision for batteries within the CX-3 platform," Mr Tomiyama said.

Mazda is very confident it is on a winner with the CX-3. The 'mood in the camp' about this car is bullish to say the least.

And, on spec and appearance, the CX-3 has a lot of the global media agreeing with Mazda.

Mazda CX-3 Chief Designer, Youichi Matsuda" class="small img-responsive"/>
Mazda CX-3 Chief Designer, Youichi Matsuda

And, incredibly, it has taken the company just 24 months to go from the "first idea" to having a production-ready model.

The rapid development was possible, according to Mr Tomiyama, because "we got the design right, right from the start".

The fact that it shares components heavily with the Mazda2 will have had a hand in that.

And while it looks considerably larger than the 2, the interior dimensions are almost identical except for additional headroom and foot-room thanks to a more upright stance.

According to Mr Tomiyama, the size of the vehicle is "acceptable globally", and, with stronger lines, a low nose and guards-filling 18-inch wheels, Mazda is "hoping to widen our sum of customers".

The intent here is to also appeal to younger male buyers.

And, while an MPS version may not be immediately on the table, My Tomiyama said "there is a potential for performance derivatives".

That will certainly gladden many in the target demographic. However, it may be some time off.

"We have just landed the new CX-3, so the biggest focus for us is this car, what we have here now," he said.

We'll be driving pre-production models in a few weeks; we can't wait.

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