Mazda debuts new hybrid

Let’s take a brief moment to travel back in the hybrid time machine to 2010. In late March of that year, Mazda announced it was licensing hybrid technology from Toyota to develop its own hybrid offering, which would likely see the light of day in Japan in 2013.

Fast forward back to the present, and such is the case with word that the Mazda 3 (called the Axela in the Land of the Rising Sun) will have a hybrid offering as part of its 2014 drivetrain choices.

Left Lane reports the 2014 Mazda 3 will mate a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder engine “designed specifically for the 3 hybrid” with green vehicle technology from its competitor. While the jury is out on the benefits of doing it this way versus crafting your own hybrid technology in house, one should note this isn’t the first time Mazda has done this. Back in 2008, for example, the Tribute Hybrid was introduced, but all this was essentially was a rebranded Ford Escape Hybrid SUV. It was dropped after the 2009 model year.

image via Mazda

While it is not known if Mazda will bring the hybrid version of the 3 to American shores, what is known about the Japanese version at this time is that it will deliver 30.8 km per liter fuel economy under the JC08 mode. It will feature a continuously variable electronic transmission, be available in front wheel drive only and come in a sedan style body.

As for pricing, three trim levels will be available for the Mazda 3 Hybrid, starting at around 2,373,000 yen, or just over $24,000. It will qualify as well for the Japanese version of the American federal tax credit for green vehicles.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling