Patent images have surfaced which suggest that Mazda is preparing a new turbocharged rotary engine for production.
The images show a revised intake and exhaust layout on a Wankel engine, in a patent document titled ‘Rotary piston engine mounted on vehicle’.
Although this doesn’t confirm a rotary-engined model for production, Mazda’s recent rotary-powered concepts and its evident research and development on future Wankel powertrains suggest the firm's relationship with the rotary engine is not over.
Mazda’s RX-Vision concept from the 2015 Tokyo motor show is further proof of this; that car featured a Skyactiv-R-badged rotary engine. Speaking to Autocar, Mazda R&D boss Kiyoshi Fujiwara confirmed several possibilities were under consideration for the Wankel engine’s return, including a hybrid powertrain and a turbocharged option.
The turbocharged route was considered less likely at the time, given is complexity, but the patents suggest that this is now the most likely option, when taking into consideration Mazda’s reticence to adopt hybrid engines.