News have been going around on the resurrection of Mazda’s bygone rotary engine but it may not be how remember it to be. Word is that rather than being the sole power supplier of the car, like in the RX-7 and RX-8, it will instead be used as a support system, for an electric vehicle.
With other exciting prospects to look forward to with Mazda’s new directions, reports have claimed that it will most likely perform as a range extender to produce electricity for a battery-powered car. Sounds like an ideal approach moving forward and a proper optimisation of the Rotary technology but not necessarily a jump-for-joy piece of news for Rotary loyalist.
Such an approach is not only due to the compact construction yet high performance capabilities of the engine but is also a means to keep the legendary system alive – how reliable it will be (as those with prior experience can attest), remains to be seen.
With a new factory with Toyota in the US and joint developments with Denso, a pure EV is on the cards for Mazda, possibly as soon as 2019 along with a hybrid vehicle to go with it. Revival of a Mazda sportscar powered outright by a rotary engine on the other hand may not take place so soon with reports that it would have to make business sense to sell multiple sports car models.
Not sure what to think of that but with the brand’s sportscars selling by the truckloads from the RX-7 FC/FD onwards to the RX-8 and more recently the MX-5, it’s hard to see a properly-sorted Mazda weekender flop in the market – it’s just hard to imagine.