Mazda6 SkyActiv mule – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's believed that zoom-zoom automaker Mazda is working closely with Toyota on a Mazda6 equipped with Hybrid Synergy Drive. In fact, spy shots reveal the rumored-to-launch-in-2013 Mazda6 hybrid makes use of a Toyota Prius-sourced gear lever and EV mode button.

Word is the hybrid Mazda6 uses a 155-horsepower SkyActiv engine that will make its U.S. debut in the 2012 Mazda3. For comparison, the Toyota Prius cranks out a combined 134 horsepower, so the 6's gas engine, plus its electric propulsion system, ought to make for a vehicle that's a bit zoomier than the Prius. Mazda engineers will reportedly be responsible for tuning the hybrid 6's engine and making sure every bit of the vehicle works as expected, leaving Toyota with the single task of supplying the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

Though this gas-electric 6 counters Mazda's "Not Electric. Not Hybrid. Not A Drag To Drive" slogan and doesn't exactly jive with the automaker's SkyActiv push, it is expected to launch in late 2012 or early 2013. We assume the marketing will change by then, too.

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