Mazda to revive rotary engine as range extender for hybrid units

Article by Anita Panait, on November 27, 2012

Mazda Motor Corp. is planning to revive its famed rotary engine in 2013, fitting it in a low-volume, for-lease vehicle in Japan, chief executive Takashi Yamanouchi disclosed. Yamanouchi, however, said that the rotary engine would not be installed in a RX-8 sports car, but will be used an onboard generator for recharging the battery of an electricity-driven hybrid vehicle.

The decision to revive the rotary engine comes as the Japanese carmaker struggles to find a use for the technology. Mazda first installed the rotary engine in its Familia Rotary Coupe/Mazda R100 in 1968. Mazda eventually ceased to use the rotary engine in June 2012, when the last RX-8 rolled of the assembly line in Japan.

To revive the rotary engine, Mazda could use it as small, range-extending engine, just like the engine used in the Chevrolet Volt. Yamanouchi remarked that electric vehicles have range and cost problems, which could be solved by making the battery smaller and installing a rotary engine. The smaller battery would also be less expensive.

Yamanouchi said that the new hybrid system will be launched next year in Japan. Yamanouchi said they are considered to use gasoline as fuel for the revived rotary engine, noting that Mazda has experimented with hydrogen-burning rotary engines.

The rollout of the rotary engine will be in low-volume leased vehicles geared toward assessing the technology's market viability, according to Yamanouchi. Mazda’s CEO remarked that using rotary engines as range extenders is good since they are smooth and quiet. Rotary range extenders for electrified cars are one of the options for next-generation drivetrains after Mazda completes the rollout of its new Skyactiv engines.

Topics: mazda, engine

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

J.D. Power has officially released the 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study, an annual list of the most dependable brands in the auto industry. Once again coming on top is Lexus, the...
by - February 26, 2017
Citroen revealed that its entry to the Chinese market is moving forward with the planned release of the new generation C5. While still on sale on this part of the...
by - February 26, 2017
There is definitely a second-generation Super Series from McLaren. Even in camouflaged form, it is simply incredible. But while we still don’t have the full data on how truly dynamic...
by - February 25, 2017
A lot of fans are excited with the news that Porsche could be unveiling a performance version of its Panamera 4 E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid during the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. ...
by - February 25, 2017
Tesla is finally setting a more “definite” schedule with regards to the official launch of the Tesla Model 3 electric car. A “limited production” is said to be slated to...
by - February 25, 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