As late as last year, Mazda declared it wouldn't offer alternative powertrains in order to meet its goal of reducing the fuel economy of its vehicles by 30% by 2015. Now, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has announced the automaker will begin offering both hybrids and electric vehicles in the future, but would only say that the vehicles would be in the Mazda line-up come 2015.
However, Mazda's goal of creating more fuel efficient vehicles won't stop at hybrids and EVs. According to Yamanouchi, "Our new gasoline engines will achieve the same fuel economy as current diesel engines, and our diesel engines will achieve similar fuel economy as existing hybrids." This new engine tech will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show this October.
Yamanouchi said that Mazda "will be able to offer affordable eco-friendly vehicles to 90 percent of the car-buying public, not to just a limited segment of the market." This line of eco models will feature reduced weight, improved aerodynamics, start-stop engine technology and lower rolling resistances. Mazda hasn't decided to begin offering a diesel engine in the States, but it could be in the cards, and Yamanouchi made it clear that the new engines and their corresponding technology wouldn't be shared with Ford, although Mazda is open to selling the technology to the Blue Oval.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]