Mazda SkyActiv-G Tuning

"All you need to know about performance parts and tuning the Mazda SkyActiv-G engine!"

Now we will review and look at SkyActiv-G tuning and highlight the ultimate modifications for your car. Mazda SkyActiv-G are fantastic to work on and with the right sports parts like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will definitely enhance your driving pleasure.

History, Power & Specs of the SkyActiv-G Engine

Skyactiv-G 1.5, or (PR-VP RS) (P5 VPS F-P5)

  • 85 kW (114 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 111 lbft (150 Nm)
  • 96 kW (129 hp) at 7,000 rpm and 111 lbft (150 Nm) at 4,800 rpm
  • Tuning the Mazda SkyActiv-G and best SkyActiv-G performance parts.

Skyactiv-G 2.0 or (PE-VPS)

  • 155 bhp (157 PS; 116 kW) at 6000 rpm and 200 Nm (148 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 4600 rpm
  • 181 bhp (184 PS; 135 kW)  7500 rpm
  • 2012–present Mazda Axela/Mazda3
  • 2013–present Mazda Atenza/Mazda6
  • 2013–present Mazda CX-5
  • 2013–2018 Mazda Biante
  • 2013-2015 Mazda Premacy/Mazda5
  • 2015–present Mazda CX-3
  • 2016–present Mazda Roadster/MX-5
  • 2016–present Mazda CX-4 (China)
  • 2019–present Mazda CX-30

Skyactiv-G 2.5 or (PY-VPS)

187 hp (139 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 252 Nm (186 lbft) of torque at 4,000 rpm

250 hp (190 kW) and 430 Nm (320 lbft) (Turbo (PY-VPTS)

Applications:

  • 2013–present Mazda Atenza/Mazda6
  • 2013–present Mazda CX-5
  • 2014–present Mazda Axela/Mazda3
  • 2016–present Mazda CX-4
  • 2016–present Mazda CX-9
  • 2018–present Mazda CX-8
  • 2019–present Mazda CX-30

Best SkyActiv-G tuning mods

The best SkyActiv-G modifications on an engine are obviously the ones that give the biggest return for your cash.

We won't be swayed by popular SkyActiv-G modifications, they need to be cost effective.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large power band gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

Fast road cams commonly boost the bhp throughout the rpm range, you may sacrifice a little bottom end power but the higher rpm power will be lifted.

Race cams, boost the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport and race cam makes it harder when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your cars usage so for a daily driver stick with a fast road SkyActiv-G cam

Different SkyActiv-G engines respond better to more or less aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Sports exhaust manifold, drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters, Intake headers, Fast road camshaft.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
Fast road cam, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, induction kit, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injectors.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Twin charging conversions.

Plan your options and then find your parts and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

A remap should help to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your SkyActiv-G.

(In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your mileage may rely on the tuning parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Pulling air and fuel into your SkyActiv-G is the main goal to any tuning task.

Intake headers flow the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

The shape and rate of flow of the Intake can make a substantial effect on to fuel mixing and power on the SkyActiv-G.

I usually find air intake manifolds are begging for aftermarket tuning parts, although a few car makers provide fairly well optimized air intake manifolds.

Increasing the SkyActiv-G valve size, carrying out port work and head flowing will also lift torque, & importantly will afford you raising the torque increase on other tuning parts.

SkyActiv-G Turbo upgrades

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your SkyActiv-G

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

If a car has a turbo already fitted modifications are giving better power gains and most turbo charged engines use better components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only just able to handle stock powerWe recommend you find these limits and fit higher quality crank and pistons to cope with the power.

There are many mechanics spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the SkyActiv-G only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the engine throw a rod when it's been completed.

Larger turbo chargers tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the peak rpm torque gains.

Over the last 20 years the market of turbo chargers is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo charger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the SkyActiv-G when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more complex to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Fuelling

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must ramp up the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a torque increase.We strongly recommend you to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

All the following flywheel power targets will assume an injector duty cycle of 80% and a base of 58psi of fuel pressure at idle.

4 Cylinder turbocharged engines

  • 58 PSI 340cc/min 200hp
  • 58 PSI 511cc/min 300hp

4 Cylinder NASP engines

  • 58 PSI 285cc/min 200hp

4 Cylinder supercharged engines

  • 58 PSI 312cc/min 200hp
  • 58 PSI 468cc/min 300hp

SkyActiv-G Performance Exhausts

You should look to increase your exhaust if your current exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is still good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow through the engine but do not go too big or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to around 2.5 inches to maximise flow rates, and this should take into account the amount of air your engine is moving.

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the filters installed, so adding a freer flowing race alternative such as a sports catalyst pretty much removes this restriction, thanks to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed, but keeps the car road legal.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the SkyActiv-G

The SkyActiv-G engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Regular oil changes are vital on the SkyActiv-G, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your SkyActiv-G engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss SkyActiv-G tuning options in more detail with our SkyActiv-G owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mazda tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be for your car.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which upgrades work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these SkyActiv-G articles which are continually updated.

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