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Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru to collaborate on innovative hybrid engines

By Mathilda Bartholomew | June 3, 2024

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These engines will be able to run on low-carbon fuel alternatives like liquid hydrogen, biofuel, and synthetic fuel.

Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru to collaborate on innovative hybrid engines

Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru are teaming up to develop new combustion engines specifically designed for hybrid vehicles. These engines will be compatible with low-carbon fossil fuel alternatives such as liquid hydrogen, biofuel, and synthetic fuel.

These new engines are set to be “highly efficient and powerful” while also being more compact than the current models from these three Japanese automakers. This compact design could lead to lower bonnets and more design options, which would improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

In addition to boosting engine performance, the collaboration aims to integrate these new engines with electric motors, drive units, and batteries as part of hybrid powertrains. The development will also focus on meeting strict emissions regulations.

Toyota’s President and CEO, Koji Sato, emphasised “in order to provide our customers with diverse options to achieve carbon neutrality, it is necessary to take on the challenge of evolving engines that are in tune with the energy environment of the future."

Subaru’s President and CEO, Atsushi Osaki, highlighted “achieving a carbon-neutral society is a challenge that must be undertaken by all of Japan's industries and society as a whole.”

Mazda’s President and CEO, Masahiro Moro, stated “we will continue to offer customers exciting cars by honing internal combustion engines for the electrification era and expanding the multi-pathway possibilities for achieving carbon neutrality.”

Mazda will keep developing its famous rotary engines, seen in sports cars like the RX-7 and RX-8, and recently in the MX-30 R-EV plug-in hybrid. Subaru will continue using its signature flat ‘boxer’ engines, but with carbon-neutral fuels.

Despite their focus on combustion engines, these brands are not abandoning electric cars. Toyota plans to launch six electric vehicles in Europe by 2026 and 30 worldwide by 2030. Subaru will introduce three new electric SUVs by 2026, developed with Toyota, including its first EV, the Solterra.

Mazda, which hasn't launched an electric car since the MX-30 in 2020, is working on its Skyactiv Scalable platform. According to Christian Schultze, Deputy General Manager of R&D at Mazda Europe, the first EV using this platform will debut sometime after 2025. The new platform will be central to Mazda’s production, with SUVs likely being a major focus due to their popularity.

What do you think of Mazda, Subaru, and Toyota's plans? Let us know in the comments...

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