Mazda has unveiled its new powertrain systems, promising that the "next-generation" technology will achieve fuel consumption levels equivalent to those of a hybrid.

Its new "Skyactiv" technology encompasses new developments in engine, transmission, body and chassis design that will be fitted to the brand's vehicles from next year, the company confirmed October 20.

Designed to help Mazda meet its goal of reducing its fuel consumption by 30 percent by 2015, the features will first be fitted to the Mazda2 subcompact, which could give it a record-breaking fuel efficiency.

Reports from Japan suggest that Skyactiv will improve the fuel efficiency of the Demio (the Japanese name for the Mazda2) to 3.33 l/100km, pretty much on par with the Toyota Prius (3.9 l/100km) and Honda's recently-unveiled Fit Hybrid, also capable of 3.33 l/100km.

Features of the new Skyactiv systems include the world's highest gasoline engine compression ratio, new transmission technology designed to offer a four to seven percent improvement in fuel economy, a lighter and more rigid body and a significantly lighter chassis.

Mazda's chairman Takashi Yamanouchi said that the innovation had produced "incredible, unexpected results" for the automaker, which has no hybrid program of its own.

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