The last time the rotary engine was used by Mazda in the RX-8 coupe. He will now return to the crossover that inspired the RX-8.
When we say rotary engine, many people think of Mazda, which in the past was one of its biggest promoters. But after end of production of the RX-8 coupe in 2012 the so-called Wankel engine also ended up in the offer of this Japanese carmaker. For years, however, there has been talk of his return, but so far this has not happened. In the coming years, however, this is finally to change.
The return of Wankel’s engine to Mazda’s offer was confirmed by the president of the car manufacturer Akira Marumoto. Specifically, the unit is to use the MX-30 crossover in the future, which uses a similarly designed so-called suicide door as the RX-8 once did. The he made his European debut exclusively in the form of an electric car, on the domestic Japanese market, however, it will initially be offered as a mildhybrid, the electric version will arrive there later. In the future, an electric car with a range extender is also planned, as will be used by Wankel’s engine.
Akira Marumoto admitted that the goal is to get the Mazda MX-30 with a rotary engine on Japanese roads by 2022. For this reason, he will start testing several prototypes with this technique next year. However, it is not clear at this time whether such an MX-30 will arrive in Europe. Interestingly, Mazda is again going against the trend. After all, it is necessary BMW has already got rid of the range extender in the i3, with the proviso that the electric range is already sufficient.
The return of Wankel’s engine in the form of a range extender has been talked about for years. The carmaker first indicated this effort in 2017.
“We will offer a range extender mainly so that customers are not afraid that they will not get somewhere. Not that it would be necessary, because clients only cover some 60 kilometers a day, “ said Martijn ten Brink, vice president of Mazda’s European dealership, two years ago.
The head of the Japanese manufacturer has not yet revealed further details about the new Wankel engine, but two years ago the management claimed that the planned rotary unit acting as a range extender would be one-rotation and atmospheric. According to the carmaker, this should be enough for the function of the electricity generator, the advantage should also be the compact dimensions, as well as the quiet operation of this unit. This results in a significantly lower number of moving parts than with a conventional piston engine. According to Mazda, quiet operation is a necessity so that the crew accustomed to the quiet operation of the electric car is not disturbed in any way.
The so-called Wankelův motor is the work of inventor Felix Wankel. Compared to a piston engine, it excels in a smaller number of components, is lighter and much more compact. A plus is the fact that for one working cycle of four times, a single revolution of the piston, which is also a rotor, is enough, while the piston engine needs two revolutions of the crankshaft. However, the disadvantage is lower efficiency and higher emissions in recent years.
For these reasons, Wankel’s engine has never been more prominent. Apart from Mazda, it was actually used to a greater extent only by the car manufacturer NSU. However, it was also tested by other manufacturers, including the Soviet VAZ, who used it in special Ladies for police forces and the KGB.