Mazda will have a new rotary concept at Tokyo show, trying to bring it to production
20 September 2017 - Autoblog
Despite ending production of the rotary engine in 2012, Mazda has repeatedly insisted that it's still working on rotary engine tech, and it has continued to tease a potential future rotary car with concepts, the latest of which was the RX-Vision.
The company even continues to file patents on rotary tech. It seems the company is continuing this pattern, since the vice president for Mazda's European R&D center told Auto Express that it has another rotary concept ready for this October's Tokyo Motor Show.
According to Auto Express, the car expands on the groundwork laid by the RX-Vision concept. In addition to revealing the existence of the concept, the executive also reiterated the fact that there's still a team in Mazda working on the rotary engine, and people are still trying to make a business case for a new rotary sports car. Auto Express expects a production car could come in 2020.
The news outlet also asked if the hypothetical car would be hybridized, and the Mazda executive didn't give much of an answer beyond it being possible, though he would prefer a purely rotary-powered car. We at Autoblog think a hybrid rotary of some sort would make the most sense. It would make for an impressive halo vehicle that could be used to promote future Mazda hybrids. This would also help with the business case side of things.
An electric motor, or motors, would be highly complementary to the rotary engine as well. Electric motors produce oodles of torque from down low, which rotaries don't, and the rotary engine's high-rpm horsepower would compensate for the electric motors when they've started running out of power. Not only that, but using a hybrid powertrain could help a thirsty rotary engine meet fuel economy and emissions requirements while still producing plenty of power. A hybrid system is also more possible now that Mazda is teamed up with hybrid expert Toyota.