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Mazda Ibuki Hybrid

The Mazda Ibuki hybrid car is a 2-seater concept car that was unveiled in the 2003 Tokyo Auto Show. The Ibuki hybrid gives a glimpse into what may become a future MX-5 Miata hybrid model.

Since the Miata is known as the world's best-selling two-seat roadster, it makes sense that the innovations from the Ibuki be adapted to this vehicle. It is most likely that the Ibuki itself will never see the light of a showroom floor.

Nevertheless, the Mazda Ibuki (its name means 'to invigorate') offers some exciting innovations that will hopefully be used in future production models. For one, unlike its Renesis counterpart (a rotary hydrogen-gasoline hybrid), the Ibuki is a mid-engine gasoline-electric hybrid that combines a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine (177 hp) to an electric motor and a six-speed manual transmission with reinforced synchronizers to assure shift quality. The internal combustion gasoline engine shuts down when stationary, saving fuel and emissions. At low engine speeds, the electric hybrid motor provides torque assistance to boost acceleration from a standing start.


Pictured is the Mazda Ibuki Hybrid.


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The Ibuki hybrid sports 18-inch magnesium alloy wheels fitted with run-flat tires. The Mazda concept hybrid also uses regenerative braking to recharge the batteries so the car never has to be plugged in.

The Ibuki is truly a lightweight vehicle as the fenders, hood, rear floor panel, and door outer panels are all made of lightweight reinforced plastic. The engine frame and drive shaft are both made out of carbon fiber, which further reduces the overall weight. The Ibuki engineers developed the body frame with a twin backbone body structure that includes high rigidity. This helps keep the car solid while reducing overall weight.

As far as safety is concerned, the Ibuki incorporates a sensor that activates a four-point rollover bar in the event of a rollover accident. The car is also equipped with LED headlamps that improve visibility.

According to Truman Pollard, chief designer of Mazda North American Operations, "The aim of this concept was to further refine the fun-to-drive spirit that can be derived from a lightweight, convertible sports car. At the same time, the design team has worked to advance the true roadster identity and further refine the levels of comfort and safety in a vehicle with the top down."

With increased competition fueled by high demand for hybrid cars, it is only a matter of time until the Ibuki to Miata transition takes place. Will you be ready?