Mazda and Toyota collaborate to share powertrain tech

Japanese business media are today reporting that a hardware-sharing deal between Mazda and Toyota is about to be finalised. It will see hybrid and fuel-cell technology, as well as efficient combustion engines, shared across both carmakers.

The number of ‘alliances’ between manufacturers has grown to new heights in recent years, as growing industry pressure to clamp down on emissions and fossil fuels forces co-development. Mazda and Toyota are the latest to, according to the Nikkei business daily, “intend to reach an accord in principle soon”.

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Toyota’s UK spokesman refused to confirm that a decision had been made, but cited that there was “ongoing links between the two companies”, as both have a recent global history including joint factories in Mexico and shared hybrid systems.

The main tech that would likely be shared would be the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in Toyota’s new Mirai FCV, which is coming to the UK later in the year priced from £63,000. Mazda is possibly planning to bring a hydrogen car to market for release around 2020, using the same system, and are hoping to make more of an impact with alternative-fuel vehicles.

The other side of this alliance, which is likely to materialse much sooner, is Toyota’s usage of Mazda’s award-winning ‘Skyactiv’ petrol and diesel engines. The latest units use innovative combustion tech to significantly improve the performance and efficiency balance.

It would mean that anything from the Yaris supermini to the next generation of GT86 sports car could be powered by Mazda-derived units. Reportedly, the two firms are also considering collaborating on further parts purchasing and commercial vehicles.

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