Speaking at the Moscow motor show, Mazda boss Takashi Yamanouchi has reaffirmed the company's commitment to the rotary engine. He revealed plans to launch a new range extended car using the engine next year, and to keep developing rotary applications for use in future sports cars.
Concerns had been raised that the rotary engine would not be part of Mazda's future after production of the RX-8 ended in June. However, although he would not reveal whether the range extended car will be new or based on an existing vehicle, Yamanouchi revealed it will only be leased in Japan initially.
"We are still learning," he said. "the rotary has very good dynamic performance, but if you accelerate and brake a lot there are efficiency disadvantages. The range extender overcomes that. We can keep it spinning at it's most efficient 2000rpm while also taking advantage of it's size."
Mazda has previously explored petrol and hydrogen driven range extended motors.
Yamanouchi also revealed that research into future uses of rotary engines would continue so long as he worked at Mazda.
"When I joined the company in 1967, it was the rotary engine that motivated my decision," he said. "We continue to explore ways to improve the fuel efficiency and capabilities of the rotary engine so it can be the primary power source of a car again."