In an effort to comply with the new emission standards coming into effect in 2021 across Europe, Mazda is counting not only on its fuel-efficient new SKYACTIV-X engine, but also the launch of a fully electric vehicle by next year as well as a plug-in hybrid model by 2021 or 2022.
This revelation was made by Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe.
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While the small Japanese automaker is jointly developing a new EV architecture with its much larger domestic rival Toyota, the aforementioned Mazda EV will ride on an independent platform.
Interestingly, Marumoto said that the brand’s famed rotary engine will return as a range extender for electric cars. However, don’t expect to see a new vehicle powered exclusively by a rotary engine anytime soon. Everyone at Mazda wants it to happen, but given the number of things the company has to do, this project currently sits on the back burner and there is no timeframe.
A Mazda EV and plug-in hybrid are all good news for Europe. What about North America? Electrified Mazdas are coming here as well, but the exact strategy remains a complete mystery at this point. Heck, even the SKYACTIV-X engine has not been confirmed for Canada yet.
In related news, we learned back in May that Mazda is also working on new inline six-cylinder versions of the SKYACTIV-X and SKYACTIV-D (diesel) engines that would fit into a new “Large Architecture.” The latter would most likely involve rear-wheel drive, although Mazda’s i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system could also be part of the equation. Some variants are planned with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, while others would get the plug-in hybrid treatment.