The Mazda Hybrid SUV model (the only one) that is currently
in the works is the Mazda
Tribute Hybrid SUV. The Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV
went into production in 2006 for the 2007 season. The Tribute
Hybrid will be based on the Ford
Escape Hybrid SUV, though it may offer some more
upscale features than the basic Escape Hybrid does.
The partnership with Ford between the Mazda Tribute Hybrid
SUV and the Escape Hybrid is no surprise since Ford owns 33-percent
of Mazda. Even though the only Mazda Hybrid SUV that is currently
scheduled to roll out is the Tribute, there is a possibility
that similar technology will be used for Mazda's minivans and
trucks as well.
Besides its collaboration with Ford, Mazda has also been
working on its own hybrid technology. For instance, Mazda
has shown off its Ibuki
concept car already at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show. The Ibuki
is a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder gasoline-electric hybrid
based in design on the Miata. At the same show, Mazda unveiled
its hydrogen-gasoline rotary RX-8
RE Renesis hybrid car.
So, for future Mazda Hybrid SUV models it is anyone's guess
whether Mazda will use Ford's technology or its own. What
is clear, though is that SUV's are very popular in the U.
S. market now and hybrid vehicles are of great interest
as oil prices continue to skyrocket.