It could get some support from Toyota.
We noted Mazda's somewhat unusual message to New York Auto Show attendees yesterday, the one that said: Not Electric. Not Hybrid. Not A Drag To Drive and thought we should try to figure out why Mazda is going after today's electric and hybrids vehicles with this kind of attack message. The short version: electric and hybrid vehicles won't be fun to drive until Mazda makes one.
Starting in 2013, Mazda will become the second manufacturer, after Nissan, to make use of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. In March, Mazda signed a licensing agreement with the hybrid behemoth and hopes that with a supply of hardware – presumably including transmissions, power electronics and battery packs – spilling in from Toyota, it will be able to launch its own hybrid in three year's time. However, for Mazda, gas-electrics are reportedly only one part of the advanced ve
2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery
Mazda3 with i-Stop - click above for high-res image gallery
2009 Mazda Tribute - Click above for high-res image gallery
Mazda RX-8 R3 - Click above for high-res image gallery
Zoom Zoom may soon rhyme with Green Green as Mazda has added itself to the growing list of automakers investing heavily in hybrid automotive technology. While it's true that the Japanese automaker has offered a hybrid version of its Tribute SUV, that car is really little more than a rebadged Ford Escape Hybrid.
In a mild role-reversal of sorts, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has said that his company will in fact venture into electric vehicles and hybrids, but not until 2015. In the meantime, the Japanese automaker will focus on incremental improvements in the efficiency of gasoline and diesel engines and strive for an overall weight reduction in all of its vehicles with the goal of increasing fuel efficiency 30 percent by 2015.
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/hardware/Finally_an_SUV_that_doeesn_t_suck_gas_New_2008_Mazda_Tribute_SUV_hybrid'; Mazda already has the hydrogen RX-8 and Mazda5, but the crown jewel of Mazda's environmentally better line-up may just be the brand-spanking new 2008 Mazda Tribute hybrid SUV. The hybrid is based on the current Tribute (which starts at $20,705) and we'll have to wait until closer to the new Tribute's release date sometime in the middle of the year to find out what the hybrid powertra