Mazda Skyactiv plans revealed

* Mazda to refresh entire range by 2015 * Skyactiv efficiency tech will be standard * Aim is to be most desirable Japanese brand...

Mazda Skyactiv plans revealed

Every Mazda will use Skyactiv fuel-saving technology by 2015, the manufacturer has revealed.

Skyactiv technology already underpins the CX-5 SUV and recently launched 6 saloon and Tourer, but Mazda will replace the rest of the cars in its range over the next couple of years.

These new cars will all benefit from the full suite of Skyactiv measures, which include lightweight body construction and efficient engines and transmissions.

Mazda also has plans to expand its range to include two extra models, with one expected to be a new seven-seat SUV to rival the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe. The second new model could be a sportscar to replace the RX-8, which recently ceased production.

Mazda is also set to launch replacements for the current 2, 3, 5 and MX-5 models.

The new models and technology are part of a plan to make Mazda the most desirable Japanese car brand, with an image that's on a par with that enjoyed by Volkswagen.

Mazda is also planning to branch out into alternative powertrains, with a petrol-electric hybrid due in 2014, and a Vauxhall Ampera-style range-extender will be available for lease in Japan this year.

The company has also confirmed that it views electric cars as part of its future, with a spokesman saying that it views battery power as the third stage of its efficient-technology plan. The first of this plan was stop-start tech, the second was the Skyactiv range of engines and the third remains electric. Mazda has not yet confirmed a timescale for when it might release electric cars however.

By Steve Huntingford