Mazda hasn't made much of a fanfare about its future hybrid models of late.
In fact, you might not even have known the company was planning any, such is its silence over the matter. Perhaps Mazda decided its push with efficient Skyactiv gasoline and diesel engines--and how they reduce the need for hybrid technology--would send conflicting signals.
They're still coming though, and the first such model will debut in the sleek new 2014 Mazda Mazda3 sedan--in Japan, at least.
Squeezed in to the end of a press release about the new Mazda3, the company writes, "A sedan model featuring a hybrid electric powertrain will be available in Japan."
And that's kinda... it. No further details on the hybrid model are included, just that it will join the engine lineup we're more familiar with: 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5-liter gasoline engines, and a 2.2-liter clean diesel unit. Mazda says these engines will be optimized for each market to suit customers around the world.
That apparently includes keeping the hybrid for itself, rather than dropping it into the competitive and hybrid-friendly U.S. market.
What we do know is that the Mazda3 hybrid sedan is likely to use powertrain technology licensed from Toyota, as part of an agreement made all the way back in 2010.
Back then, Mazda said it believed its new Skyactiv technology could make for an even more efficient hybrid vehicle than Toyota could produce. Couple that with the Mazda3 sedan's slick 0.26 drag coefficient, and the new hybrid sedan has the potential for class-leading gas mileage.
Unfortunately, you'll just have to gaze upon it from afar--or hope Mazda brings its diesel-powered 3 to the U.S. after the car's Fall debut.