Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mazda Says it Will Add Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Drivetrains to Lineup

As the saying goes, if you can't beat them, you might as well join them. Following Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi's 180 degree turn on the embracement of hybrid technologies that came at the New York Auto Show in April, the company's Executive Vice President Philip Spender announced new details on Mazda's future hybrid plans during the Japanese launch event of the 2010 Axela (Mazda3).

"We've started to talk a lot more about it lately, in part because everybody else is," Spender said. "Mazda is responding partly to new government incentives and emissions rules," he added.

Spender revealed that Mazda will not develop a standalone hybrid model but instead the firm will offer gasoline-electric drivetrains as an option on existing models in its portfolio with the first cars expected in the "20-teens".

The Mazda executive did not disclose details on which models would get a hybrid drivetrain option, but we gather that the Mazda3 and Mazda6 as well as the firm's SUV/Crossover models will be among the first in line. And how about Mazda's sportscars like the MX-5 / Miata roadster? Your guess is as good as ours, but feel free to state your thoughts in the comment section below.


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