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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.
Get more: 2012 Mazda3 SkyActiv Targets 40-MPG at AutoGuide.com
 
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