Toyota Motor Corporation, Subaru Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation have agreed to collaborate in the development of “new engines tailored to electrification and the pursuit of carbon neutrality”.

The automakers confirmed in a joint statement “with these engines, each of the three companies will aim to optimize integration with motors, batteries and other electric drive units. While transforming vehicle packaging with more compact engines, these efforts will also decarbonize internal combustion engines (ICE) by making them compatible with various carbon-neutral fuels”, which it describes as fuels with net zero CO2 emissions across their lifecycles – from manufacture to usage. These include e-fuels such as liquid hydrogen, synthetic fuels and biofuels derived from biomass.

The three automakers said they “have been always been driven by a deep understanding of their customers’ diverse lifestyles, which they say has led them to develop signature engines such as Subaru’s horizontally-opposed engine, Toyota’s inline-four engine and Mazda’s rotary engine.

With this latest collaboration the partners aim to develop next generation engines that not only improve standalone engine performance but also optimize their integration within electrified powertrains. This will allow them to develop more compact powertrains, which will help them improve overall vehicle design including aerodynamic performance.

Toyota’s CEO Koji Sato confirmed in a statement “in order to provide our customers with diverse options to achieve carbon neutrality, it is necessary to take on the challenge of evolving engines that are in tune with the energy environment of the future. The three companies, which share the same aspirations, will refine engine technologies through friendly competition”.

Subaru’s CEO Atsushi Osaki said “achieving a carbon-neutral society is a challenge that must be undertaken by all of Japan’s industries and society as a whole. As we continue to refine electrification technology, we will also enhance our horizontally-opposed engines with an aim to use carbon-neutral fuels in the future. Moving forward, the three companies sharing the same aspiration will continue to advance the pursuit of sustainable excellence in Japanese car manufacturing”.

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Mazda’s CEO Masahiro Moro added “we will continue to offer customers exciting cars by honing internal combustion engines for the electrification era and expanding the multi-pathway possibilities for achieving carbon neutrality. Given the rotary engine’s compatibility with electrification and carbon-neutral fuels, Mazda will continue to develop the technology through co-creation and competition to ensure it can contribute broadly to society”.