NEW: Get Updates by Email

Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru Enter Triple Alliance to Accelerate Combustion Engine Development

by | May 28, 2024

Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru are showing that combustion engines still matter with triple alliance that aims to streamline and accelerate their development.

Toyota, Subaru and Mazda exec group photo

Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda announced a triple alliance to boost development of next-generation combustion engines

Partnerships in the automotive industry have been increasing in recent years as inflation, the needs of the market, and the increased costs of development are forcing automakers to enter interesting partnerships to try and rapidly adapt to the challenges that they face. The bulk of these recent partnerships have focused on the EV market where their new technology and small customer reach have forced automakers to find ways to spread the costs around.

However, a new triple alliance between Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda is showing that this tactic is also extending to combustion engines especially as the EV segment experiences a slowdown both in sales and demand. This slowdown is renewing interest in combustion engines and all three firms are doubling down to make sure they can quickly adapt to changing conditions on the ground.

Triple alliance builds on established framework

Mazda 2-rotor combustion engine

all three companies will focus their efforts on their “signature engines”

While this latest partnership focuses all of its efforts on combustion engines, it’s not the first time that all three Japanese auto companies have worked together for a common cause. Subaru for example is currently in a separate partnership with Toyota for the GR86 coupe and the Solterra EV while Mazda provided a rebadged Mazda 2 for Toyota’s defunct Scion brand and is now in a collaboration for hybrid technology in international markets.

What makes this particular setup unique is not only the sheer size of it but that the partnership will mutually benefit all three firms. This benefit however will not result in all three engines being one unified powerplant. Instead, the three companies will focus on building their “signature engines” with Toyota focusing on its inline four-cylinder engines while Mazda and Subaru work on their rotary and boxer engines respectively. The fruits of the collaboration will be reaped behind the scenes with all three engines benefitting from the streamlined development and cost management strategies that the newly inked deal provides. The three engines will also be compatible with several alternative fuels including liquid hydrogen, synthetic fuels, and biofuels.


 A promising framework

Crosstrek with next-gen hybrid engine

Subaru chose to put their prototype engine inside an international market Crosstrek

In addition to making this announcement, Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda also brought several sample engines to provide a glimpse into what the plan is all about. Mazda brought single and dual-rotor rotary engines and reaffirmed prior comments that the engines are not linked to the wheels but will instead serve as generators for the battery pack. This technique made its production debut in the MX-30 and expect Mazda to further expand on this with other models in the future.

Toyota’s engines were still a work in progress, but the company says that the 1.5 and 2.0-liter powerplants on display have “high output and high thermal efficiency.” We hope that means a solid balance between performance and fuel economy with the company putting a renewed emphasis on that with recent hybrid offerings including the 2025 Toyota Camry. Subaru brought its next-gen hybrid system and also put it in a prototype Crosstrek SUV. The application in the Crosstrek caught our attention since there have been rumors swirling that the company might bring it to the U.S. after having it on sale in international markets for several years now.

More Hybrid Stories 

Room for more collaboration

Toyota's next gen 2.0-liter inline-four

The alliance has goals to further expand the development of these engines

While the three companies are putting their collective resources into combustion engines, This triple alliance has room to expand into other aspects of development, A key goal is that the three companies will be able to integrate electric drive units, batteries, motors, and other EV components into the core layout of these next-generation ICE engines.

With the engines themselves already primed to deliver higher amounts of performance on their own, the addition of electrification components could help them expand their potential and deliver better fuel economy and range to customers that want the best of both worlds in their next vehicle purchase.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List is Live!
Get Updates by Email

Get on our list to receive the latest automotive news in your inbox!

Invalid email address
I would like to receive:
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This