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Mazda confirms return of the rotary engine

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Mazda confirms return of the rotary engine

Mazda has released a video celebrating 50 years of the rotary engine and reaffirms its support for the motor. It’s as strong a sign as we are likely to get that Mazda is planning to use the rotary as a range extender in a future car.

The video is a quick showcase of the rotary engine and Mazda cars. A caption within the video says ‘Half a century has passed since Cosmo Sport with a rotary engine was introduced to the world and carved a new page in the history of the car, but the story of Mazda and Rotary is not over’.

The video doesn’t actually tell us anything new about an upcoming car but there seems to be little other purpose to it aside from remind us of how cool that motor was. The line ‘The story of Mazda and rotary is not over’ is probably the biggest giveaway.

Mazda rotary engine

Mazda never really seemed to want to give up on the rotary engine. Ever since the RX-8 ceased production way back in 2012, Mazda has kept the engine on the back burner and seems to have had plans all along to bring it back.

The automaker has denied a rotary engined vehicle was in development yet patents were found for more efficient motors and a turbocharged version. Aside from a few messages over the years, Mazda hasn’t really said anything new either.

Of those hints we have seen over the years, the one that stays in my head is the challenge of making the rotary compliant with new stricter emissions regulations across the world. While those patents hint at a much more frugal and efficient motor, there is no mention whether Mazda has overcome that efficiency hurdle yet or not.

All that said, a hybrid model with a rotary range extender is still a definite possibility. Mazda are lagging behind other automakers in alternative fuels and the rotary could be a way into that market. It would be easy to imaging a CX-5 or CX-9 hybrid with EV drivetrain and rotary range extender. The motors are small, relatively light and could work well in such a situation.

It is Mazda’s century anniversary next year. It celebrates 100 years as an automaker so if any year was a good year for some announcements, it will be 2020. We would dearly love an RX-9 or RX-X to be announced but that is only the remotest possibility. It is much more likely to be some kind of hybrid with range extended by the rotary.

That’s all complete speculation of course and we would be happy to be proven wrong!

In the meantime, the current range of Mazda vehicles are some of the best looking and best driving around. Check them out at Mazda of Hamilton, 1977 Upper James Street Hamilton, ON L9B 1K8.

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