It's Official: Mazda Will Bring Back Rotary Engines In 2020 As Range Extenders

Mazda has at last confirmed that it's working on a new rotary engine, which will be used as a range-extended in a future EV
It's Official: Mazda Will Bring Back Rotary Engines In 2020 As Range Extenders

With various Mazda execs touting a return of rotary tech for the last few years, the company itself has finally given us confirmation. At the Paris Motor Show, the Japanese company announced that its first-ever EV - set for a 2020 launch - will be available with a “small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet rotary engine as a range-extender.”

Rotary engines are compact yet able to produce impressive power outputs, making them ideal range-extenders, Mazda reckons its new one will even be able to run on liquefied petroleum gas if required.

It’s perhaps not the rotary return lovers of the RX-7 and RX-8 might have wanted, but as has been pointed out by Mazda personnel before, this new project keeps Wankel technology alive and makes it much cleaner-burning than before. This increases the likelihood of a rotary-powered ‘RX-9’ happening. It still seems like a remote possibility, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.

It was hoped that 2015's RX-Vision concept would spawn an all-new rotary sports car
It was hoped that 2015's RX-Vision concept would spawn an all-new rotary…

It may seem like Mazda is late to the EV party, but that’s very deliberate. It has committed itself to a “right solution at the right time” strategy, citing varying electricity production methods that mean electric cars aren’t always as green as we might think. This is why the firm is - shock horror - still developing petrol engine technology, in the form of its new high-compression SkyActiv-X engine.

Mazda has even extensively redesigned the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated SkyActiv engine in the MX-5, allowing it to rev higher and produce more power. Rotary engines, relaying electrification and persevering with N/A engines? Mazda certainly seems determined to do things differently.




10/02/2018 - 11:08 |
2 | 1

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

No, no it hasn’t. It’s a range extender… that means it’ll likely not have any power sent to the wheels, just to a battery to charge the electric motor.

10/02/2018 - 11:41 |
2 | 0
10/02/2018 - 11:11 |
114 | 3

the irony is too damn high lol.

like weren’t rotaries the most gas and oil guzzling things on the market?

still, i do like where this is heading

10/02/2018 - 11:11 |
24 | 1

That’s exactly what I was thinking, now, a four rotor, hybrid, mid engined super car? THAT is what I would love to see!

10/02/2018 - 11:21 |
14 | 2

maybe the litlle footprint of the wankel is an advantage as a range extender…?

10/02/2018 - 16:49 |
0 | 0

Rotaries aren’t that gas guzzling when operating at a constant rev number right at the sweet spot of the engine.
Also low vibrations and small footprint make it the perfect pick for a rex.

10/02/2018 - 20:32 |
6 | 0
10/02/2018 - 11:14 |
98 | 3

My exact face expression

10/02/2018 - 11:21 |
2 | 1

Think of it like luxury car makers bringing out SUVs. They know that they’ll be profitable and that extra profit lets them make the jump to producing a wider range of performance cars. Mazda knows that in a hybrid application they can create a flexible rotary drivetrain that they can apply across the range, and not only that, but they can sell rotaries to people who don’t even know they’re buying a rotary - no hesitation like enthusiasts have when making the switch.

The new range-extender rotary, then, is a rather safe bet to bring rotaries back to market while justifying R&D costs with the promise of sales. Bringing a performance, stand-alone rotary engine to market would be a very expensive venture by itself, but with this approach Mazda can develop an all-new rotary and retool their factories with the very real possibility to apply that new technology to a new sports car.

10/02/2018 - 13:40 |
24 | 0

First mod on the new Mazda
Swap the rotary engine as the main unit and throw the battery and the motor in the trash.

10/02/2018 - 11:15 |
13 | 2

And have about 50hp

10/02/2018 - 14:52 |
11 | 1

That may incur premature wear, as that was not the main purpose of that rotary.

Mazda may have improved the reliability and usability during the 6 years of its absence, but I would want to keep those Apex Seals safe for as long as possible.

10/03/2018 - 22:13 |
0 | 0



10/02/2018 - 11:16 |
30 | 4

Using an LS as a range extender would work against the whole system though, as they weight too much and can’t rev high enough

10/02/2018 - 11:41 |
6 | 4

Why is my pp so hard

10/02/2018 - 11:18 |
1 | 1

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


09/21/2019 - 10:48 |
0 | 0
The Speedy Man

“exceptionally quiet”

10/02/2018 - 11:31 |
1 | 3
Dante Verna

I don’t care what will be powered by this, as long as it has rotors flying around inside.

10/02/2018 - 11:35 |
1 | 0
Jeremy S.

the dorito is back!

10/02/2018 - 11:41 |
2 | 0



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