Mazda is not a company that we commonly associate with hybrid vehicles, for good reason. Mazda has only ever offered one hybrid vehicle, the Tribute, and it was nothing more than a re-badged Ford Escape. To consider Mazda a serious player in the hybrid segment, the automaker must offer us something more. Recently, Mazda signed a licensing agreement with hybrid behemoth Toyota, and that's definitely a step in the right direction, If Mazda is trying to convince us that hybrids are in its blood, then it needs to do even more.
More, yeah, that's exactly what Mazda plans to do. According a report in the Nikkei, Mazda will allocate 40 percent of its research and development efforts to hybrid vehicles starting in fiscal year 2015. This move represents a 30-percent increase over Mazda's current allocations for hybrid vehicle development. Mazda will not overlook the simpler things like improving efficiency across its entire range of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles, but hybrids will receive additional focus as the years pass by. For now, Mazda's new lineup of Sky-G and Sky-D engines represents a marked improvement over previous mills, but an electric shift is coming. A Mazda hybrid is coming by 2013, one that is likely to put the efficiency of the company's vehicles to shame.

[Source: egm CarTech]

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