The Japanese firm believes quiet rotary tech makes it ideally suited for use as a range-extender powertrain
Rachel Burgess
25 September 2019

Mazda has confirmed it will reveal its next generation of rotary engines later this week via its Chinese branch's Weibo social media account.

Chang'an Mazda posted an image of the brand's first rotary-engined model, the 1967 Cosmo coupé, accompanied by a new logo for the brand's "7th Gen Product Cluster" and the phrase "rotor engines make the world more beautiful". 

At the 2017 Tokyo motor show, Mazda boss Mitsuo Hitomi voiced plans for the firm to bring back its famed rotary engine as a range-extender because it is “much, much quieter” than the alternatives.

The Japanese firm’s range hasn’t featured a rotary-engined road car since the RX-8 went out of production in 2012 but it did produce a prototype Mazda 2 featuring the tech back in 2013, which Autocar drove. It has remained interested in reintroducing the technology to production since. Mazda’s RX-Vision Concept, which was shown at the Tokyo motor show in 2015, used such a powertrain.

Hitomui later confirmed that, rather than being used in its purest form, a rotary engine will appear in a range-extender version of its first electric vehicle due in 2019.

When asked if Mazda was developing a standalone rotary engine, he said: “Even if there isn’t a plan to have it in an actual product, of course we are developing a rotary engine alone.” He strongly hinted that a rotary engine-powered model is likely to exist alongside the range-extender in the future. 

Asked why Mazda will use a rotary engine as a range-extender, Hitomi said: “the rotary engine isn’t particularly efficient to use as a range-extender but when we turn on a rotary, it is much, much quieter compared to other manufacturers’ range-extenders”, which is seemingly suited to the near silence of electric cars.

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Mazda's recent engine focus has been on the development of compression ignition Skyactiv-X petrol engines, which now feature in the new 3 hatchback and CX-30 crossover

For the original Cosmo, the company developed a Wankel rotary engine with the help of a German firm called NSU. Rotary engines, which use rotors instead of pistons, are generally smaller and lighter than traditional petrol engines, without any loss of power.

Since the RX-8 ended production, the firm’s only machines to feature a rotary engine have been the race cars in the American Pro Mazda junior single-seater series.

Recently, a patent filed by Mazda looked to preview a lightweight, front-mid-engined sports car with an engine bay just big enough for a compact rotary unit. 

Read more

Mazda developing ‘RX-9’ sports car, new patent suggests​

The glorious history of rotary-engined Mazdas​

 

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Comments
16

25 October 2017

Been hearing this story ever since the rotary engine got dropped.  It's over Mazda, concerntate on BEV's.

25 September 2019
xxxx wrote:

Been hearing this story ever since the rotary engine got dropped.  It's over Mazda, concerntate on BEV's.

Yep, another development from Mazda that still seem to be in an alternate universe where fossil fuels are on the up. Skyactiv xyz whatever, now this, they'll go bust at this rate....

25 October 2017

Its got some legs, a rotary engine is very compact and light and taken to the extreme could be better than a stonking great 4 cylinder normal engine. As a generator the engine only ever needs to run at single speed and can be designed for that whatever it is deemed to be the peak of its efficiency.

25 October 2017
The Apprentice wrote:

Its got some legs, a rotary engine is very compact and light and taken to the extreme could be better than a stonking great 4 cylinder normal engine. As a generator the engine....

The i3 generator engine is only a twin!

A34

25 October 2017
xxxx wrote:

The Apprentice wrote:

a rotary engine is very compact and light and ... could be better than a stonking great 4 cylinder normal engine. ....

The i3 generator engine is only a twin!

A rotary is a "one"!

25 October 2017
A34 wrote:

xxxx wrote:

The Apprentice wrote:

a rotary engine is very compact and light and ... could be better than a stonking great 4 cylinder normal engine. ....

The i3 generator engine is only a twin!

A rotary is a "one"!

A rotary engine doesn't have to be a "one" it too can be a twin, more.

25 October 2017
xxxx wrote:

The Apprentice wrote:

Its got some legs, a rotary engine is very compact and light and taken to the extreme could be better than a stonking great 4 cylinder normal engine. As a generator the engine....

The i3 generator engine is only a twin!

True but its off a motorbike or a lawnmower and sounds like it.. horrendous racket. Its a good incentive to rapid charge to avoid running it!

 

25 October 2017

The ‘new’ A2 styled concept from about 8 years ago used a diesel Wankel engine REX solution. 

25 October 2017
adrian888 wrote:

The ‘new’ A2 styled concept from about 8 years ago used a diesel Wankel engine REX solution. 

Did they reject it because the whole vehicle was just too interesting for them?

25 September 2019
catnip wrote:

adrian888 wrote:

The ‘new’ A2 styled concept from about 8 years ago used a diesel Wankel engine REX solution. 

Did they reject it because the whole vehicle was just too interesting for them?

Nope, it was because it smoked like a bus, drank like a sailor, was as reliable as a politician and lasted as long without a rebuild as a RX7

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