Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Mazda to revive rotary

Mazda has been working on a rotary-powered range extender for a while, first demonstrating the idea in prototype form in 2013.

Mazda has finally confirmed it will resurrect the rotary engine, but before you get carried away, it will work as a range extender for future electric vehicles not to power a new sportscar.

The Japanese brand has committed to electrifying every vehicle it produces by 2030, and is at the pointy end of development for an electric vehicle available with a small rotary engine to recharge its battery and increase driving range.

Exactly what vehicle this will be is anyone's guess, but we expect the new EV to arrive sometime in 2020, with a mild-hybrid electric starter motor/generator system to surface in 2019.

Next year Mazda will also launch its innovative SkyActiv-X petrol engines which use compression ignition – like a diesel – as well as conventional spark plugs to increase efficiency.

Furthermore, the company is developing a plug-in hybrid powertrain to reach production in 2021.

The rotary range extender will be small, lightweight and quiet, and will be able to run on both unleaded petrol and LPG. The rotary range extender will be small, lightweight and quiet, and will be able to run on both unleaded petrol and LPG.

According to a statement release by Mazda Motor Corporation (MMC), the rotary range extender will be small, lightweight and quiet, and will be able to run on both unleaded petrol and LPG.

“The concept behind the rotary-powered range extender was to leverage the rotary engine’s small size and high power output to make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout,” the company said.

“Mazda will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance the joy of driving by deploying compact, lightweight electrification technologies while further refining the internal combustion engine, which is forecast to be equipped in the majority of new cars for many years to come.

“The company will introduce electric vehicles as the optimal solution in regions that generate a high ratio of electricity from clean energy sources or restrict certain vehicle types to reduce air pollution.”

Would a fair-dinkum rotary-engined sportscar still work in the current climate? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.