Possible 2013 Mazda 6 Hybrid in the Works

What do you call the propulsion system of a Mazda 6 having a Toyota Prius hybrid drivetrain shoe-horned in? Mazda Hybrid Synergy Drive?

No word on that question has been given, but spy photos of a possible 2013 hybrid under development using a blend of Mazda/Prius hardware have been circulating the Web.

It is believed Mazda, despite its “Zoom Zoom” ode to petrol power slogan is grasping for ways to electrically improve efficiency in light of increased worldwide governmental pressures on it and all automakers.

The Mazda 6 test mule has a gear lever from a Prius, along with the rest of the Prius hybrid tech in keeping with a licensing agreement made last year between Mazda and Toyota.

Mazda says the tuning will be all Mazda however, as will the internal combustion engine to be mated to the Toyota hybrid side of things.

The car anticipated to be launched late 2012 or some time in 2013 is rumored to be indeed a Mazda 6 – not some other design being cloaked for now by the Mazda 6 body. Going this route will save Mazda hundreds of millions compared to developing a totally new car.

The engine could be a variant of the Skyactiv gas-powered four cylinder. A 163-horsepower version due in the 2012 Mazda 3 is said to deliver a respectable 40 mpg without any form of electric assist, and would be ideal for hybridization.

In comparison, a Toyota Prius’ combined output is 134 horsepower, so the 6 with gas-plus-electric propulsion ought to be more zoomier in a concession to Mazda’s diluted mantra as the company dips its toes cautiously into the hybrid waters.

A diesel variant to the Skyactiv engine is also in the works, but costs would be amplified to use it in the hybrid Mazda 6, so bets are it will be gas-electric.

Mazda will also launch at least one diesel-powered vehicle in the U.S. market for 2012.

Its hybrid effort is definitely a conservative one in licensing and adopting Toyota’s already proven designs.

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  • FamilyGuy

    Why is Mazda’s mantra diluted? I like the idea of zoom-zoom. I want a car that is fun to drive. I believe that a balance can be reached that will yield zoom-zoom and good MPG values. See the Nissan Altima Hybrid. Another vehicle with hybrid tech licensing from Toyota. Drive it moderately and I can get 40 MPG. But when I need the power getting on the highway or passing a truck up a hill, it’s there and I love it.

    Also, I wouldn’t say that they’re dipping their toes in the hybrid water. How long have they been offering the Tribute Hybrid?

    I am disappointed to see Mazda put a hybrid system in the Mazda6. There are already plenty of sedan hybrid offerings. Put the hybrid in the Mazda5! A hybrid system could put that vehicle over the 30 MPG mark and still seat 6. I’ll probably get a Mazda5 because it’s something that seats 6 and I can get it in a stick.

  • Charles

    FamilyGuy, I second your motion about the Mazda5. It would be nice to know just how upset Mazda is with Ford. The Mazda6 is a cousin to the Ford Fusion. I would bet the Mazda6 with Ford’s hybrid system could have been done in very short order.

  • Pat

    Guys, Ford is smart!
    If you can’t beat them, join them.
    You heard it beforem right.
    Isn’t it show you how good Prius is?

  • FamilyGuy

    Charles, thanks for seconding the motion about the Mazda5. Mazda, are you reading this?

    Aren’t the Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape cousins, too? Isn’t that why both Ford and Mazda offer the Escape and Tribute, respectively, in a hybrid form?

    Maybe Mazda’s and Ford’s deal only allowed Mazda to put the hybrid system into one vehicle?

    Mazda, go test drive an Altima Hybrid and learn that you can have zoom-zoom and good MPG values and put it in your cars!

  • Shines

    Yep -I thought the same thing. Hmm another hybrid family sedan – Mazda shoulda put the hybrid in the 5.
    Maybe Toyota won’t license the technology to Mazda for the 5 because it would compete too well with the Prius V coming out shortly…
    Toyota can handle Camry competition as it is the best selling sedan (non-hybrid) on the market and if you consider the Prius as midsized Toyota has that locked up as well. Still, more competition even in the midsized should help bring prices down…

  • mcross77

    count me in for mazda5 hybrid. Tired of seeing hybrid sedans. Is aging Escape/Tribute going to be the ONLY boxy hybrid around ? I Want something more useful than big trunk with small opening on sedans. No word on RAV4 hybrid, visionary electric only which is a gimmick in Canada where I live.
    for now I’m waiting for Ford Cmax energi(which is close relative to Mazda 5) or Mazda CX diesel.