Mazda has seen a much higher take-up than expected in Europe for its Skyactiv-X engine.
The SPCCI (spark plug controlled compression ignition) engine is available on the Mazda3 compact sedan and hatchback, and the CX-30 compact crossover.
"Since we launched the engine, we are seeing a very encouraging feedback: 60 percent of the orders for the Mazda3 are currently for cars equipped with the Skyactiv-X engine, as well as 45 percent of orders for the Mazda CX-30 crossover," Mazda Europe CEO Yasuhiro Aoyama said.
Interest in the new powertrain is "much higher than expected," he told Automotive News Europe.
The new Mazda 3 went on sale in Europe in the second quarter, with the SPCCI option available from September. The CX-30 was launched mid-October with diesel and gasoline variants, and SPCCI.
Aoyama said he believes the CX-30 will be Mazda's best-selling model in Europe next year. The CX-5 midsize SUV is Mazda's current best-seller in Europe.
The SPCCI technology is being sold at a higher price than other powertrains. Prices for the Mazda3 with Skyactiv-X start at 26,790 euros in Germany. Prices for the 2.0-liter gasoline versions start at 23,290 euros.
The SPCCI unit is a gasoline-powered engine which combines the spark ignition of a gasoline engine with the compression ignition of a diesel. Mazda says the engine provides drivers with the free-revving performance of a gasoline engine and the superior response of a diesel, plus a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
On the Mazda3, the SPCCI engine emits 5 percent to 10 percent less CO2 than a standard 2.0-liter gasoline unit on the same car. On a 1.8-liter diesel engine, the improvement is between 1.5 percent and 7 percent.
The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Skyactiv-X is equipped with a 24-volt mild-hybrid system as standard. It delivers 180 hp and 224 Newton meters of torque, with CO2 emissions of 122 to 157 grams per kilometer under Europe's new WLTP vehicle testing regime.
As part of its effort to reduce CO2 emissions from its new-car fleet, Mazda will launch its MX-30 full-electric crossover in Europe next summer.