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Behind-the-scenes with Mazda ad

Meticulous planning and plenty of hands were required to bring the new Mazda 6 TV commercial to the small screen.

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The Japanese car maker has signed an agreement with its domestic rival that will see Toyota supply hybrid technology that will be combined with Mazda's new-generation 'Sky' engines.

Mazda has previously snubbed hybrids and stated it would improve its vehicle fleet's overall fuel efficiency by 30 per cent by 2015 using a combination of lighter construction materials, stop/start engine technology and more efficient petrol and diesel engines.

The company, however, says it hopes to reach its self-imposed efficiency deadline even without the contribution of new hybrid models.

Mazda Kiyora concept.

A Sky-G engine featured in Mazda's striking 2008 concept car, the Kiyora.

Mazda is developing both petrol and diesel versions of its new direct-fuel-injection Sky engine for 2011, though it hasn't revealed whether the Sky-G (petrol) or Sky-D (diesel) will be mated to the Prius's components that would be expected to include its electric motors.

With electric assistance, Mazda says the four-cylinder petrol engine will improve fuel efficiency and torque by up to 15 per cent. The diesel engine will bring a consumption improvement of up to 20 per cent compared with a current version.

A Sky-G engine featured in Mazda's striking 2008 concept car, the Kiyora.

Mazda's new deal means the company has decided against pursuing the hybrid systems used by Ford, which reduced its stake in Mazda from 33 to 13 per cent in 2008. The US market Mazda Tribute borrows the petrol-electric drivetrain used in the twin-under-the-skin Ford Escape.

Toyota already supplies hybrid technology to Nissan in America, and says it will consider similar requests from other car makers.

Mazda has worked on hydrogen-powered prototypes but has previously ignored petrol-electric vehicles despite Toyota and Honda having first sold hybrids more than a decade ago.