Mazda revives rotary engine in Mazda2 hybrid

Article by Anita Panait, 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.

Topics: mazda, mazda2, hybrid

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

We first heard of the fifth generation SEAT Ibiza earlier this year, and last week, the company finally revealed the all-new Ibiza at the international launch in Barcelona. The new...
by - May 22, 2017
The aftermath of the Takata airbag recall still largely resounds in the automotive industry, as big automotive companies like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota were extensively hit with what is...
by - May 22, 2017
Amid reports that major rival Volkswagen would cease producing 2016 and 2017 model year diesel cars following the wake of the "Dieselgate" scandal, it’s believed that Chevrolet sees its opportunity...
by - May 22, 2017
Honda recently whips out a new feature for the S660 Bruno Leather Edition. Any guesses? Well, it’s going to be an iPhone app that goes by the name Rev Beat....
by - May 22, 2017
And so it goes, Ford is not at all closing its doors to an all-electric F-150 pickup. The American manufacturer initially laid out its plans for an F-150 hybrid earlier...
by - May 22, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries