By on March 26, 2010

Despite their huge drive to wring every last drop of mileage out of the ICU, with new direct injection engines and idling stop function for all cars, Mazda will not stand around idle while the rest of the world is hyper to jump on the hybrid bandwagon. In 2013, Mazda wants to introduce a midsize hybrid. And out of what hat did they pull that Flemish Giant of a rabbit? As predicted by our resident sage Cammy Corrigan, the essential gadgetry comes courtesy of Toyota.

The Nikkei [sub] has it that “the two automakers have reached a final agreement under which Toyota will supply the Toyota Hybrid System II, comprising a high-capacity battery, an electric motor, a generator and a power control unit. This system, designed for use with an engine of 2 liters or smaller, is ideal for small and midsize hybrids. Among Toyota hybrids, THS II is employed in the current-generation Prius.”

And what about sales? Toyota group parts manufacturers will sell the hybrid innards “at an initial rate of tens of thousands of units a year.” Mazda will combine the components with a (so far unspecified, keep guessing) “new gasoline engine and create the hybrid version of a mainstay midsize passenger car.”

And what’s in it for Toyota to supply a competitor with strategically important gizmology? According to the Nikkei, “for Toyota, the arrangement will help lower related production costs through economies of scale. Mazda will be the first company outside the Toyota group to receive large-scale supplies of such core components.” The way it sounds, not the last.

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10 Comments on “Mazda To Pull Hybrid Hare Out Of Hat...”

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan


  • avatar

    “Mazda will be the first company outside the Toyota group to receive large-scale supplies of such core components.”

    Uh, doesn’t Toyota already supply Ford with the Hybrid bits for at least the Escape, if not the Fusion as well?

    • 0 avatar

      No Ford makes thier own, designed in house, with thier own patents, hybrid system (DOE program from the 90’s). There is a cross licensing agreement, toyota tried to sue ford to stop production of hybrids and then realized that Ford had enough patents to block the import of priuses.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe I’ve drunk my breakfast one too many times. I could have sworn that I read a couple of years back that Ford was buying at least the engine controller for the Escape Hybrid from Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      IIRC, Ford gets the batteries from one of Toyota’s suppliers, but all the control and propulsion hardware is their own design.

      I suppose that “first company outside the Toyota group to receive large-scale supplies of such core components” is ignoring the Altima hybrid.

  • avatar

    Mazda can’t use Ford’s work with hybrids as Ford’s work is still in its infancy. This isn’t a blast of Ford. It simply states that Ford’s R&D budget for hybrid technology is far behind that of GM. Ford doesn’t (yet) have the experience with hybrid technology to be a big player.

    I’ll give them credit for bringing hybrids to market with the Fusion and Escape, but their lack of experience shows as both those vehicle’s gasoline counterparts achieve near the same fuel economy ratings as the hybrids.

    Once the Volt commences sales this summer, Ford will have nothing to compete.

  • avatar

    Ford has been the most conservative company, engineering wise, for most of its life. That may pay off, even if losing “green cred” to others. 100’s of thousands of turbo gas ICE’s, tuned for economy, may be a better way to raise CAFE than selling 10’s of thousands of hybrids, or worse, a few plug-in electrics. For myself, a Fiesta, not an Insight, will be my next car. Aside from the fun factor, cost/benefit still favors a conventional drive train, tuned for economy, rather than whiz-bang engineering.

  • avatar

    I see the Fusion Hybrid rated at 41city /36hwy. The Fusion 2.5 is rated 22city /31hwy. How in hell do you figure this->

    “gasoline counterparts achieve near the same fuel economy ratings as the hybrids.”

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Mazda have already been running hybrid Premacy/Mazda 5 models in Japan with wankel engines. Not sure if they used petrol or hydrogen , or if the engine powered the transmission or just charged the batteries.

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