Mazda revives rotary engine in Mazda2 hybrid

Article by Eugene Conan, on December 23, 2013

Mazda Motor Corp.’s famous rotary engine is back, now in the form of a range extender for a prototype of a Mazda hybrid hatchback. The hybrid prototype operates as an electric vehicle, with an electric motor powering the wheels. When the charge of the lithium ion battery goes low, a gasoline-powered 0.33-liter rotary engine placed in the rear will generate power to recharge it.

This powertrain – called by Mazda as RE Range Extender, short for Rotary Engine Range Extender -- is similar to the one installed in the Chevrolet Volt, which is also an extended-range hybrid. The unveiling of the prototype in Yokohama came weeks after chief executive Masamichi Kogai said that they have no plans for a production car powered by rotary engines.

Kogai remarked then that sales would have to reach 100,000 units annually to justify a commercial revival of the rotary engine. He, however, admitted that Mazda engineers continued to work on the rotary engine technology – resulting to modified range-extender Mazda2. The Mazda2 hybrid might help the carmaker comply with California’s strict zero emissions requirements, according to Takashi Suzuki, program manager for advanced powertrain development.

He remarked that while California requires electric vehicles, the state is also expected to give credit for certain hybrids. Mazda used a smaller version of the rotary engine for the Mazda2, allowing the car to maximize fuel economy; run quietly with little vibration; and use different varieties of fuel. The compact version could also be fitted with many different body shapes. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

You may also be interested

What to read next

Participants to the international meeting of GTI fans held in Austria were given a treat after 12 trainees hailing from both Volkswagen and Sitech Sitztechnik unveiled the newest VW Golf...
by - May 27, 2016
Here comes the most powerful version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI so far – the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S. Created to celebrate 40 years of the Golf GTI, the...
by - May 26, 2016
BMW is currently one of the leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers. It has established its sub-brand, the BMW i, in 2011 that caters to the design and manufacture of these...
by - May 25, 2016
The 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has been chosen as the venue to unveil a special model that pays tribute to BMW 2002 turbo – the BMW 2002 Hommage. This...
by - May 23, 2016
Volvo, one of the world’s foremost automotive manufacturers, introduced two new small concept cars today, signalling the Swedish company’s venturesome leap into the international small-car market. The introduction of the...
by - May 23, 2016