Mazda will offer hybrid option on existing models, won’t compete with Prius, Insight

2010 Mazdaspeed3

Earlier this year, Mazda said that it will introduce hybrids and electric-cars into its lineup to meet its goal to improve its fleet fuel-economy by 30 percent by 2015. Unlike Honda and Toyota, Mazda will off hybrid technology on its existing model, not standalone hybrids.

“It’s going to be the 20-teens that we’re going to be actually engineering all this,” Executive Vice President Philip Spender said.

Speaking at the launch of the Mazda 3 in Japan, Spender said that hybrid systems will be offered as an option on vehicles already in Mazda’s lineup not as hybrid-only models like the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight.

As recently as this spring, Mazda was downplaying hybrids saying that it would seek higher fuel-efficiency improvements through gasoline engines and transmissions.

“We’ve started to talk a lot more about it lately, in part because everybody else is,” Spender said. Mazda is responding partly to new government incentives and emissions rules, reports Automotive News.

– By: Mo Eladawy