The two Japanese car makers have a long-running technical partnership that includes working on future electric vehicles.
In a presentation to accompany its 2020 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 by the end of 2022, and a Yaris prototype has now been spotted at a Mazda facility in Europe with its badges hidden, suggesting a reveal is imminent.
It is likely that the model will be built for Mazda by Toyota, possibly 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.
In a statement issued to Autocar in 2020, Mazda 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.”