Mazda 3 Hybrid mates Prius parts, SkyActiv engine; Japan only for now

Mazda has revealed that Hybrid version of its Mazda 3 sedan will be a part of the range when the new model range goes on sale in Japan this November.

According to Mazda, the Axela Hybrid features a reworked version of 2-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine mated to an electric motor and an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). If reports are correct, the hybrid components (electric motor, nickle metal hydride batteries, transmission and, probably, controller) are taken from Toyota Prius. Under Japan’s generous JC08 fuel economy testing regime the new Axela Hybrid drinks just 3.25L/100km.

In its regular tune the 2-litre engine produces 114kW of power and 200Nm of torque, while the Prius’ electric engine generates roughly 27kW. The Toyota Prius uses a 1.4kWh nickle-metal hydrid battery and, in the info supplied by Mazda so far, this is located behind the rear seats in the boot. This seems to not only reduce storage space in the trunk, but also removes the ability of rear seats to split and fold.

In Japan the new Mazda 3 range (known as the Axela there) will go on sale from 21 November. The Mazda 3/Axela hatchback will be available with either a 1.5- or 2-litre petrol motor, or a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel. Interestingly the Mazda 3/Axlea sedan will only be available with the 1.5-litre petrol engine or the 2-litre hybrid drivetrain.

The Axela Hybrid will retail in Japan for between ¥2.373 million (A$25,300) and ¥2.625 million (A$28,100). This is roughly line-ball with the 2-litre petrol powered Mazda 3/Axela hatch. By way of comparison the Toyota Prius sells for between ¥2.17 million (A$23,100) and ¥3.34 million (A$35,900).

Mazda will reveal more details about the Axela/3 Hybrid at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]