Categories: News

Mazda: announced return of the rotary engine for 2023!

Mazda announces that it will relaunch its legendary Wankel engine in 2023! A once-jewel of engineering and technicality, introduced on the Cosmo Sport 110S in 1967. This time it will serve as an electric range extender on the MX-30.

Do you remember the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S ? Unveiled at Tokyo in 1967this two-seater coupe was Mazda’s answer to the japanese sports of the time. Toyota 2000 GT and Honda S800. It was a concentrate of innovation, starting with its very original design, and its unprecedented dimensions. And especially its mechanics that we had never seen at Mazda until then: a Wankel motor ! No V-shaped, flat or in-line cylinders, no camshafts or crankshafts here. But one twin-piston rotary engine ! This is German engineer Felix Wankel who had been at the origin of this technology, developed at the time for the manufacturer NSU. It equipped several models of the brand, among which the Prinz, Spider or the very baroque sedan RO80 (RO for rotary, of course).

A trademark

Mazda bought the rights to it in 1961., and the first production car from the manufacturer to be equipped with it was this small Japanese sports car! It then foreshadowed a great period of Mazda with rotary engine. Like the models R100, RX-2, RX-3, RX-7 or even the Mazda RX-8, removed in 2012. But why did you trust this technology, and why abandon it? One of the advantages of the Wankel engine was its approvala lot less noisy and vibrating than a conventional heat engine. But its high consumption – of gasoline as of oil – did not make it the most economical. Only NSU and Mazda trusted this technology, but it was never really democratized…

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Back in electric

Ten years after the disappearance of the RX-8, and the end of the Wankel engine, it’s back! Mazda indeed has it confirmed for 2023, in a completely different form than that known. It will no longer be the main driver, but will act as range extender for powering an electric motor ! It’s on the crossover MX-30which it will first appear, but could be applied in the future to Mazda’s entire electric range. When we talk about a Wankel or rotary engine here, we are referring to the way it works. It will use the same principle as before: a triangular rotor that rotates in a circular chamber. But here, point d’essence brewed, only electricity generated. The new Mazda MX-30 R-EV still has its share of surprises in store, but will be presented – along with its technical specifications – at the next Brussels Motor Show, in January 2023.

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