UK pricing and specification details have been announced for the highly-anticipated Skyactiv-X version of the new Mazda3.

The car, which will arrive in October, will be priced from from £23,555 and will offer an impressive combined fuel economy of 52.3 mpg.

The Skyactiv-X engine features unique Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) technology, which means it's the world’s first production petrol engine to exploit the benefits of compression ignition. That gives the engine the response of a diesel motor, but with the free-revving performance of a petrol engine. Like the Skyactiv-G petrol engine, Mazda’s Skyactiv-X engine is mated to Mazda's Formula 1-style M Hybrid 24V mild-hybrid system that recycles recovered kinetic energy.

Mazda3 Skyactiv-X hatchback

The entry point to the range, the Mazda3 Sport, doesn't exactly appear like an entry-level model at face value, with chrome detailing on the interior, a frameless rear view mirror and rear privacy glass, while Sport Lux models feature a reversing camera, smart keyless entry and heated front seats. GT Sport adds black leather seats with power adjustment, a heated steering wheel and Bose audio, while the range-topping GT Sport Tech comes with a host of additional active safety equipment, including a 360o camera and Driver Monitoring System with interior camera.

Mazda3 Skyactiv-X spec details announced

GT Sport and GT Sport hatchbacks powered by the Skycativ-X engine can also be specified with burgundy leather at a premium of £200. The equivalent saloon version can be specced with stone grey leather for the same price.

Externally, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech models come with bright 18-inch alloy wheels on the saloon and metallic black alloys on the hatchback.

All Mazda3s come loaded with tech such as a windscreen projecting colour head-up display with Traffic Sign Recognition, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and LED headlights across the range. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and an advanced eight speaker audio system.

Mazda3 Skyactiv-X spec details announced

The new Mazda3 will also come with the option of four-wheel-drive, a first for the company in the UK since the old 323 AWD.

"I’m very excited about the arrival of the Skyactiv-X engine; this is another example of Mazda’s convention defying powertrain innovation," Mazda UK managing director, Jeremy Thomson. "Offering our customers a truly unique blend of fuel economy, low emissions and performance from a petrol engine, Skyactiv-X adds a unique selling point to the All-New Mazda3, a car that is already winning over our customers with its quality, style and driver appeal."

"It’s also great that the saloon is arriving in UK dealerships this Autumn, as it’s a stylish and distinctive compact executive saloon that will appeal to both fleet and private customers."

Gallery: Mazda3 Skyactiv-X spec details announced