Mazda is poised to offer a version of the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid supermini in Europe within the next two years, potentially as a replacement for the current Mazda 2.
The two Japanese car makers have a long-running technical partnership that includes working on future electric vehicles.
In a presentation to accompany its latest financial results, Mazda outlined how it aims to use its partnerships with other manufacturers to enhance and grow its range. This includes a plan to offer an “OEM-supplied model based on Yaris THS [Toyota Hybrid System]” in Europe within the next two years.
That suggests the model would be built for Mazda by Toyota, likely alongside the Yaris at its factory in northern France. Having a hybrid-powered hatchback would help Mazda to meet its European Union CO2 emissions target. This would also benefit Toyota, because the two firms have formed a manufacturer pool to share their fleet targets.
Mazda’s Yaris-based model would potentially replace the current 2, which has been on sale since 2014 and doesn’t feature a hybrid powertrain, although it’s possible that the two hatchbacks could be offered alongside one another for a limited time.
With Toyota producing the model for Mazda, it’s unlikely that the latter firm’s innovative compression-ignition petrol engines would be offered.
Mazda UK declined to comment on when the new model would be available or if it would take over the 2 name.
In a statement issued to Autocar, it said: “We’re continuing with our multi-solution approach that offers appropriate solutions to match power mix, uniqueness and customer needs in each country and region.
“As one of the multi-solution measures, we concluded that the THS is the optimum solution to respond to each region’s needs and requirements.
“This collaboration is the result of discussions based on our Toyota-Mazda partnership policy to use both companies’ business resources efficiently while respecting each other’s brand and management independence.”
The deal follows one Toyota recently made with Suzuki to make rebadged versions of the Corolla hybrid estate and RAV4 plug-in hybrid SUV, named the Swace and Across respectively.
Notably, the 2 was used as the basis of the Yaris sold in the US – until both models were discontinued in that market last year due to slow sales.