Mazda To License Toyota Hybrid Drive Technology, First Hybrid Due 2013 Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Mar, 30 2010 | 0 Comments

FOLLOWING REPORTS published in December, Mazda has today announced that it will licence Toyota's Hybrid Drive technology. Japanese-market sales of its first hybrid model will begin in 2013.

Mazda plans to combine Toyota's hybrid technology with its upcoming Sky-G petrol engine, with an overall aim of increasing the company's average fuel economy 30 percent by 2015 - compared to its 2008 levels.

Neither company has offered specific details on how Mazda will integrate the Hybrid Drive system with the Sky-G engine, or whether the deal will include the supply of transmissions and battery packs.

Mazda's initial unveiling of the Sky-G and Sky-D engines in October last year was accompanied by the decision to skip hybrid technology, focusing purely on ultra-efficient petrol and diesel engines.

While Mazda has clearly changed its tack, it remains to be seen how big a role hybrid models will play in Mazda's future line-up. A report in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun last year claimed Mazda is aiming to sell tens of thousands of hybrids, with a hybrid Mazda3 among the first models to use the technology.

Mazda says the new Sky-G direct injection petrol engine offers significantly improved fuel economy - 15 percent greater than the carmaker’s current 2.0 litre engine - thanks largely to enhanced thermal efficiency.

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