Mazda says there is no rush for hybrid techMazda UK

Unlike its rivals, Mazda is in no rush to introduce a battery electric hybrid into the European market, a company spokesman has told AOL Cars.

Japanese manufacturers, particularly Toyota, have championed hybrid technology as the future of the internal combustion engine, citing lower emissions and greater fuel economy than diesel equivalents.

However Mazda aims to extract the maximum possible efficiency from the currently available petrol and diesel engines before harnessing electric power, and currently states it has no plans to launch a hybrid model in the near future.

The manufacturer's engines have somewhat defied the downsizing convention seen in the rest of the industry over recent years. Where other manufacturers have used turbocharging to extract greater power from ever smaller engine sizes, Mazda has instead concentrated on maximising the efficiency of internal combustion.

"While downsizing can be an effective method for reducing emissions, adding an electric boost often merely offsets the loss in power from reduced displacement," said a Mazda R&D spokesman.

"We want to make sure our engines are optimally designed, to make better effect of the benefits of combined battery power."

Through its range of SkyActiv technologies, which have focussed on minimising energy losses throughout a car's entire drivetrain, Mazda has been able to offer engines with a larger capacity than what is currently considered the norm, but which provide competitive CO2 and fuel economy figures.

And what about fully electric cars? Again, this is something that Mazda isn't prepared to rush into.

"We've created a full EV version of the Mazda2, which we showcased mainly to prove wrong those who said we couldn't do it," said Peter Allibon, sales director of Mazda UK.

"In fact creating an electric car isn't that difficult, but in terms of customer appeal and uptake, we don't foresee the time being right before 2020."

AOL Cars is set to have a sneak peak of the new Mazda 3, including an exclusive test drive of a pre-production model.

Check back for a full first drive report.