Mazda’s rotary engine returns in 2023

They say that the rumor is the prelude to the news and in the case of Mazda’s rotary engine, it has been fulfilled to the letter: they said that the Japanese brand had found a way to cancel its Achilles heel and it has been so. After years of waiting, as pointed out motor biscuit, Mazda’s rotary engine is back and will be presented next January at the Brussels Motor Show. Of course, the return is not what many expected.

If anything represents Mazda, it’s the rotary engine (also known as a Wankel), but its revolutionary rotary design was squandered by its levels of consumption and emissions. Ironically, its return will come as a backup to the criticized MX-30: it will function as a range extender for the revamped electric model due for launch in 2023.

The history

The history of Mazda and its rotary engine dates back to the sixties, when they signed an agreement with the German company NSU, which provided them with the necessary technology to bring that design to life. At the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese brand presented the Mazda Cosmo Sport – The first series production vehicle to be equipped with a rotary engine. Three years later it was a reality, although it was the Mazda RX-7 that popularized and showed the potential of this technology.

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However, Mazda’s rotary engine had a double Achilles heel: its consumption and its emissions were, throughout its entire life, two conflicting points. So much so that they ended up becoming some of the reasons why the Mazda RX-8 wrote the final point of its history in 2012. That sporty coupé, but with four doors, was the last model with a rotary engine.

The return

However, Mazda did not give up and, after many rumors about its continued development over the past few years, we now know that it is a reality. Although, as we said before, returns as a range extender for the only electric (for now) of the brand.

And it is that the Mazda MX-30 needed something to increase its range (and justify its price). The rotary engine does not return with the new Mazda RX-7 or RX-8 that the most ‘petrolhead’ expected, but, at least, it reinvents the electric one, giving it a range closer to that of a gasoline car: it runs at a constant speed to serve as an extender by recharging the battery.

Autonomy is the weakness of the current Mazda MX-30: its 35.5 kWh battery offers a range of 200 kilometers to an engine that generates 144 horsepower and has a torque of 271 Nm. It’s like Mazda developed it many years ago, but waited until 2020 to market it… keeping, yes, an ace up its sleeve: the brand ensured that the range extender would soon be available, although time passed without news about it… until now.

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At the moment, Mazda has not provided the technical data of the rotary engine and has not disclosed whether it will increase the power of the electric motor of the new Mazda MX-30 to compensate for the additional weight of the rotary. For it. We will have to wait a couple of months and to find out if we will see another Mazda with a rotary engine, we will have to wait for time to pass… although everything indicates that there is a general consensus that this would be its only function.

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