Posts Tagged ‘rotary-engine’

Will the Mazda2 be offered as a PHEV with a rotary engine range extender?

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 10th, 2014

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Mazda2 RE Plug-in hybrid

Every few months, it seems a rumor crops up about plans from Mazda to revive the rotary engine. Last November, its CEO said the only way another one could happen is if the project was profitable, and then a month later the automaker showed off the Mazda2 RE Range Extender with a 330cc Wankel engine mounted in the rear. Now, Australian auto site Motoring reports that the PHEV may actually make production in the next-gen Mazda2 sometime after it’s initial launch.

Martin Benders, managing director of Mazda in Australia, spoke to Motoring about the company’s future with hybrids and basically reiterated what the CEO said last year. The Japanese automaker only plans to offer electrified powertrains in places where they can sell in sufficient numbers to be profitable, like Japan.

Mazda has been playing with the rotary range-extender idea for years. In the RE prototype, the engine was exclusively used to charge the lithium-ion batteries when they were running low, and a 100-horsepower electric motor provided all of the propulsion. It gave the little hatch an estimated range of about 250 miles. The company reportedly took inspiration from its Skyactiv engines to make the Wankel have lower friction and a lighter weight.

The next-generation Mazda2 is rumored to debut during the Paris Motor Show wearing Mazda’s Kodo design language. While the hybrid supposedly won’t be part of the initial launch lineup, the internal combustion powertrain lineup will consist of gas and diesel versions of Mazda’s 1.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder. However, the new diesel version is not likely to be available in the US.

Will the Mazda2 be offered as a PHEV with a rotary engine range extender? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda builds final rotary engine

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 27th, 2012

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Mazda Cosmo

Mark it down, auto enthusiasts. Mazda built its last rotary engine on Friday, June 22.

By final, we mean the line that assembled Renesis engines for Mazda’s RX-8 sports car was idled, and there are currently no plans to restart its production. Mazda has a long-running history of building Wankel powerplants, and its production of the high-revving engine has seen a few stutters since Mazda put the first dual-rotor Wankel in a production car in 1967.

Of course, it’s always possible that Mazda finds a way to solve – or at least drastically improve – the failings of the Renesis: high fuel consumption and poor emissions. We’ve been hearing about the so-called 16X rotary for years, and we’d love to see it enter production at some point in the not-terribly-distant future.

For now, though, join us in remembering some of Mazda’s past rotary-powered machinery in the image galleries above and below. Even if the world never sees another production rotary, at least it’s been a good ride.

Mazda builds final rotary engine originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda working on multiple rotary engines, has no plans for SkyActiv V6

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 18th, 2012

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Mazda rotary engine closeup

The minds at Car and Driver recently took a moment to speak with Robert Davis, senior vice president of Mazda U.S. operations, about the automaker’s plans for the future. According to Davis, the rotary engine will continue to play a role in the company’s products moving forward, with engineers applying the lessons learned through the SkyActiv program to the powerplant. That means the next-generation rotary will likely feature reduced internal friction and lightweight internals in a quest to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy. But the engine may find applications outside of its traditional role.

Not only is Mazda pursuing a rotary engine to power a vehicle, Davis admits Mazda is also investigating ways to use the design in tandem with an electric motor, with the pistonless engine responsible for charging an extended-range EV’s batteries. Given the compact size and relatively low torque supplied by a rotary, this application would seem to hold promise. Of course, we’ve heard some of this before.

And what of a SkyActiv V6? Davis makes it clear there’s no room in the SkyActiv stable for a six-cylinder, saying that the company will focus on lighter platforms and forced-induction four-cylinder engines instead.

Mazda working on multiple rotary engines, has no plans for SkyActiv V6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Apr 2012 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda tweet confirms next-gen rotory engine with SkyActiv tech

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 12th, 2011

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Renesis Rotary Engine

In the soap opera saga of are they or aren’t they still developing a rotary engine, Mazda seems to have indicated the affirmative. According to a translation of a Tweet from Mazda PR posted on a Japanese car blog, a “new model with a next-generation rotary engine” is in development.

While there’s only so much to be gleaned from a single 140-character message – even in information-dense Japanese – this forthcoming vehicle will incorporate Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv technologies, which is only logical. Being thirsty has long been the Achilles heel of the Wankel, and anything that can help boost mileage and cut emissions should be well-received in a successor to the discontinued RX-8.

Mazda tweet confirms next-gen rotory engine with SkyActiv tech originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda still pursuing rotary development

Published by admin on August 23rd, 2011

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Mazda RX-8 engine bay

Fear not, rotaryphiles. According to a report from The Detroit News, Mazda isn’t giving up on the rotary engine anytime soon. Though the RX-8 is headed for the production guillotine, Mazda execs have apparently confirmed that engineers are working on a more efficient and more powerful version of the Wankel. While the project was technically back-burnered during the economic downturn, the research wasn’t canned outright. That means that there’s a chance that the rotary could make a comeback. What would it go into? That’s a little less certain.

We know that the MX-5 Miata isn’t a likely candidate, as Mazda has sworn to keep that vehicle true to its inline roots. A rotary does pair well with an extended-range electric vehicle platform, however, as the high-revving nature is perfect for turning a generator. While that may be a far cry from the low-slung RX-8, it’s at least reassuring to know that the engine design could have a future.

Mazda still pursuing rotary development originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rotary engine development halted at Mazda?

Published by admin on August 23rd, 2011

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Mazda Renesis rotary engine

At the end of 2011, the Mazda RX-8 rotary-powered sport coupe/sedan will cease to exist in new-car showrooms. With it, the mass-produced rotary engine will take another hiatus. The original plan was to have the Renesis, the world’s only mass-produced rotary, come back maybe as early as 2017 in a new sports car. In fact, we just heard reports that Mazda’s rotor-obsessed gearhead engineers were still manning the program, albeit at a reduced pace.

According to Wards Auto, though, that plan may soon go south thanks to a weakened Japanese economy. The Renesis program is reportedly at the top of the list of programs to kill, and development on a new rotary has supposedly been halted for now. Mazda hopes it will be able to pick up its work in rotaries again sometime in the future, but the piston-free mills also have fuel economy and emissions woes to contend with, which may dampen their chances even further.

So, where does the truth ultimately lie? Our guess is that it would take a lot to get Mazda to abandon its rotary program entirely, considering how much history the Japanese automaker has tied up in the Wankel. That said, unless major inroads are made in efficiency, future rotary applications my be extremely few and far between… and a revival of the iconic RX line may never come to fruition.

Until we hear any official word from Mazda, you can find us in the corner crossing our fingers at 9,000 rpm.

Rotary engine development halted at Mazda? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Aug 2011 08:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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