Mazda and Toyota began negotiating in November 2016 about a possible collaboration for developing connected cars and EVs. The plan reportedly included Toyota sharing info about its fuel cell and hybrid systems. Conversely, Mazda would offer details about its Skyactiv combustion powerplant.
At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda’s R&D boss confirmed that the company would have an electric vehicle ready for 2019, but it likely wouldn’t be available globally. Recent patent applications also point to the possibility of a hybrid with a small rotary engine as a compact range extender.
In terms of combustion technology, Mazda reportedly intends to introduce the Skyactiv 2 gasoline-fueled engine with homogeneous charge compression ignition in 2018 on an updated Mazda3. This technology compresses the mixture of gasoline and air in a cylinder until it ignites instead of using a spark plug. The system would allegedly improve fuel economy by as much as 30 percent over current powerplant designs.
The company has also teased the possibility of a rotary revival in connection with this year’s 50th anniversary of Mazda using the Wankel engine. As further evidence that something might be on the way, the company patented a new rotary design, and rumors have suggested it could be in a sports coupe at the Tokyo Motor Show