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Mazda confirms rotary revival: "It's fundamental to the brand"

Mazda backs rotary revival. (image credit: Best Car Web)

Mazda Australia has thrown its weight behind the brand's impending rotary revival, describing the unique powertrain technology as "fundamental to the brand".

The only question now is, how far will that revival go? To the MX-30, we know. But will we also finally get the RX-9 performance car to take on everything Toyota and its GR brand can deliver?

The story will now definitely begin with the MX-30 range extender, which Mazda has confirmed will arrive in Australia before the end of the year (barring any unforeseen chip disasters), re-introducing the Wankel engine and acting as what we hope will be the first step in the rotary journey.

"Absolutely the plan is to take (the MX-30 range extender), and it will arrive before the end of the year, fingers crossed," says Mazda marketing chief Alastair Doak.

"(Rotary) was fundamental to the company. And even you don’t 'get' rotary, the fact that this little company from Hiroshima has this innovation and challenger spirit to the status quo, and they go and do these things that are pretty cool and different, and they make them work and they sell them around the world.

"From that point for view it's a perfect fit for the brand.

"It’s unique to our brand. And when you look around the world, how many car companies are investing in unique technology and actually putting it on sale? It speaks volumes of the engineering community at Mazda, and it’s very much true to our heritage."

In the case of the MX-30, reports point to the rotary motor being used as a range-extending power source, charging the EV's battery rather than driving the wheels. But while Mazda confirms it know how much range and performance the model will offer, it also says it isn't yet ready to confirm those details publicly.

But with a rotary revival now locked in, new evidence has begun to point to the technology also powering a genuine performance vehicle, which could act as a successor to the RX-8.

Mazda in Australia, or globally, is yet to comment on future rotary plans, but in Japan it has filed patent documents for a new triple-rotar (one more than the RX-8 offered) Wankel hybrid engine, with the engine finding a home in a sporty-looking, but as yet unidentified, RWD hybrid model.

Japanese site Best Car Web recently reported that the new model could launch as soon as 2023, claiming it could be developed in partnership with the Toyota GR GT3 Concept, revealed at Tokyo's Auto Salon.

Closer to home, Mazda has trademarked a new sporty-looking badge in Australia, with the logo seemingly channeling the Spirit R examples of the RX-7 and RX-8.

The new logo is a white 'R' set against a grey and red background, and looks remarkably similar to the Spirit R badge that adorned the hi-po variants of the RX-7 and RX-8. The application appears to be for the Australian market to adopt the international filing - first lodged in Japan - with the local application made in Australia on April 14.

The signs are building that a proper performance reboot could soon be on the cards for Mazda, and one led by the rotary. So watch this space.