TOYOTA WILL SUPPLY hybrid technology and key components to Mazda for a new hybrid model it plans to launch in 2013, according to reports from Japan today.
A report in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said the deal will see Toyota supply Mazda with the motor, control system and main components utilised in the Prius (although it is unclear which generation of Prius components will be shared).
Mazda is reportedly aiming to sell tens of thousands of its upcoming hybrid cars, with a hybrid Mazda3 among the first models to use the technology.
Mazda's research & development budget for 2010 is expected to be around 98 billion yen ($1.2 billion) - significantly less than Toyota's 800 billion yen ($9.9b) R&D budget.
Without the funds in place to develop its own hybrid technology, Mazda is understood to have approached Toyota in May after struggling to get technical aid from US partner Ford.
The two Japanese carmakers are believed to be finalising the deal's requirements and pricing, with a formal agreement expected by the end of the current fiscal year.
One Mazda not likely to need any hybrid help is the next-generation MX-5. Reports earlier this month suggested Mazda is expecting a fuel economy of 3.4 l/100km, thanks to a sub-1000kg kerb weight and the brand's new ultra-efficient Sky-G petrol engine.