Mazda's SKYACTIV technology is basically the company's way of providing substantial fuel economy improvements through the use of very high-compression, small capacity, direct-injection petrol engines.
The new Mazda2 will get an engine with a 14.0:1 compression ratio, which means each cylinder will be put under vastly more pressure than a conventional engine. This also means it will be capable of burning the air/fuel mixture more efficiently.
Normally, this kind of high compression is only ever seen in diesel engines or extreme performance machines. But by using advanced materials and designs within the engine components, Mazda has been able to production the first mainstream petrol engine to offer such a compression ratio. Mazda says it achieves this through the use of cavity pistons, multihole injectors and by using a 4-2-1 exhaust manifold.
Mazda will launch the new Mazda2 and the SKYACTIV technology during the first half of 2011 in Japan. Pricing hasn't been confirmed yet, the only hint we've been given was from Mazda CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi, who said at a recent news conference,
"I promise that we will offer the Demio (Mazda2) at a lower price than a hybrid of the same segment."