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Posts Tagged ‘mazda rotary engine’

Mazda May Bring Back Rotary – as an EV Range Extender

Japanese maker's first EV reportedly on tap for 2019.

by on Mar.23, 2017

Mazda is bringing back the Wankel. The famous rotary engine will be used as a range extender in the maker's new battery-electric car.

After years of trying to find a way to meet tough global emissions and mileage regulations, Mazda officials have apparently given up on plans to bring back the Wankel engine perhaps known for its use in sports cars like the RX-7 and RX-8 – but the rotary isn’t dead and buried.

Several senior Mazda sources have now revealed that the Wankel will make its return under the hood of the Japanese automaker’s first battery-electric vehicle. If that has you scratching your head, the explanation is simple: the rotary will serve as a range-extender for the EV Mazda is expected to launch sometime in 2019.

News Now!

It’s the same approach that BMW is using for a range-extender for its little city car, the i3 REx, albeit with a rotary, rather than conventional piston engine. Once the batteries are drained, the Wankel will fire up to keep the car rolling until the driver can stop for a recharge. (more…)

Mazda May Abandon Spark Plugs for Laser Ignition

Updated rotary engine would run leaner, more fuel efficient.

by on Jun.29, 2011

The Mazda Kabura concept makes its debut in Detroit.

The rotary engine is the powertrain of the future – and always will be, declares the engineers who have spent frustrating decades trying to overcome the once-promising Wankel engine’s drawbacks.

Small, light and powerful, the rotary seemed destined for glory, with makers such as General Motors, Mazda and American Motors among the many manufacturers committed to using the engine back in the 1970s.  But then the first Mideast energy crisis struck and all but Mazda were forced to abandon the Wankel due to its relatively poor fuel economy.

The Inside Story!

Over the years, Mazda has scaled back rotary applications but never abandoned the technology – and now, the Japanese maker may have come up with an intriguing solution, using a laser ignition system, instead of conventional spark plugs to boost the Wankel’s fuel efficiency.

The British magazine AutoCar quotes a “senior,” albeit unidentified Mazda engineer involved with the ongoing development of Mazda’s next-generation rotary, known as the 16X Renesis.

(more…)