Mazda has begun production of its new I4 engine series, jointly developed with Ford, at a new engine plant in Hiroshima, according to AutoAsia magazine.

The aluminum inline four-cylinder petrol engine range comes in 1.8-, 2.0- and 2.3-litre forms and will be seen first in the Atenza/6 and some Fords, AutoAsia said.

Mazda will produce around 425,000 of the two million engines Ford expects to use in the next few years, though the engines will also be built in Ford plants in the US, Mexico and Spain where production has already started, the magazine said.

AutoAsia added that full Atenza production begins this month for the European market with Japanese sales scheduled for early summer.