This prototype may look like a darkened Mazda3, but it's all new beneath the skin.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

In addition to rocking an all-new, seventh-generation platform, the hatchback also features the new Skyactiv-X powerplant prototype.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The engine is unique in that it burns gasoline, but makes use of high-compression for combustion like a diesel.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Mazda's engine does use a precisely timed spark to aid in controlling the combustion. 

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

To aid in creating the very lean conditions that the engine needs to operate efficiently, Mazda has equipped Skyactiv-X with a small supercharger.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Even the exhaust gas recirculation emissions system is temperature controlled.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

An extremely high-pressure direct fuel injection system and in-cylinder pressure sensors are used to fine-tune the combustion cycle in realtime.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The prototypes feature very basic interiors with some areas covered by simple plastic shrouds.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Each example featured a small display on the dashboard that indicated what combustion the engine was operating in while we drove.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Illuminating different icons indicated whether the engine was using spark combustion, spark controlled compression ignition or running in a lean-burn mode.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

In addition to leaning about the Mazda3's future, I was also able to visit with its great-great-great-grandpappy, the 1978 Mazda GLC.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

You can learn more about how Skyactiv-X works and how it rides in our full article or just keep clicking through for more photos.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

/ Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
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