Mazda Confirms Rotary Engine Return In 2019 As A Range Extender

Mazda’s engine boss admitted that they are indeed going to bring back the rotary engine, only this time it will act as a range extender in an upcoming electric model slated for 2019.

Mitsuo Hitomi confirmed the return of the rotary technology to Autocar at the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show, saying that “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”, making it a better suit for an electric vehicle.

However Hitomi also implied that Mazda is developing a new standalone rotary engine, which at the moment isn’t paired with a future model, saying: “Even if there isn’t a plan to have it in an actual product, of course we are developing a rotary engine alone.”

Despite the new evidence in the never-ending rotary saga, Mazda’s main focus remains the development of the new-gen Skyactiv-X petrol engines which feature compression ignition in combination with spark ignition. The Japanese company claims that their new powertrains will be as clean as an electric one over the vehicle’s whole lifespan.

This is also the second time Hitomi has been speaking openly about a new rotary engine acting as a range-extender, which means that the spinning-dorito powertrains are likely to return as juice-making devices for battery packs.

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  • Craig

    I suggested something like many times. Not specifically about Mazda OR a rotary – but the idea of their being a very small engine in EV’s that serve only one purpose – to power the battery pack. A ‘just-in-case’ source from with to charge the batteries. A generator basically.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Something like the Chevy Volt, you mean? 😉

    • TheHake

      It’s been done… Ampera, i3 RE ect.

  • Big Black Duck

    Mazda..if you build it …they will cum.. 😉

    • TheHake

      Bwahahaha

  • Six Thousand Times

    So that good/bad news equation falls well into the bad column.

  • LeStori

    and the world yawned and went back to sleep….

  • Leconte Dave

    Mazda need to stop making boring car…

    • Matthijs

      They’ve done that many years ago..

  • Bash

    Please!

  • TheHake

    This is like LITERALLY the worst news ever. WTF? We want a damn new RX-7.

    • Vassilis

      It would be cool but honestly, I doubt it would sell much. The rotary has too many negatives for everyday use.

      • TheHake

        The RX-7 has such a cult following that it would be ok for a halo car.

        • Vassilis

          At what price though? Cayman’s? That would be tough. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it if it was around but I’m trying to look at it from Mazda’s perspective.

          • TheHake

            Yep at the price of a Cayman. The GT-R is doing it for Nissan.

          • Vassilis

            Tough sell mate. Don’t forget there’s also the M2 around that price range. The GT-R has no real peculiarities though. If the rotary has been heavily developed and the known issues won’t actually be issues it should work. But those known issues are intrinsic to the engine’s architecture.

          • TheHake

            They could sell in Japan, and then bring a hand-full to Europe. M2’s and Caymans don’t sell that well in Japan.

        • Shtekeris

          The same could be said for NSX. It had such a cult following, but new one came, and it’s not that popular. Great car, but so many alternatives. I doubt the new RX-7 would have same culture around as the old one had.

          • TheHake

            The new NSX is a great car, but they didn’t nail the NSX spirit with it… That’s it’s main problem.

    • Kenneth

      Mazda has beaten that dead horse for decades. The rotary evidently remains too inefficient and dirty as a standalone powerplant. ‘Seems like it would be great as a generator (range extender) for an EV.

  • Vassilis

    Well, it does make sense for them to do that and for the rotary to be used that way.

  • Auto

    However, the RX-9 will be here by 2021-2022, so this will be a different model.

  • Infinite1

    At least the rotary is due to return this time.

  • LWOAP

    So it’s not particularly good as a range extender but they are using technology from a rotary nonetheless. And on top of that, Mazda is developing a stand alone rotary engine as well.

    So kind of Good News/Bad News I take?

  • brn

    Wankles are a lot of fun, but no. I wouldn’t want one out of warranty.

  • Giziclown

    So why should we be so happy then? Does it have any connection to the new RX-7?
    Range extender… , the new Supra comes out this year!

    Where is the RX-7?

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