It has been over a decade since the last Wankel-engined Mazda left production. Finally the Wankel engine is back, but not in the exciting form of its predecessor.
Used as a range extender for the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EVThe RX-8 sports coupé is far from being granted the return of the spinner. But that doesn’t mean the Japanese automaker isn’t yearning to bring rotary technology to sporting applications; it is still “a dream” that may or may not come true.
“Rotary is our symbol,” said Yoshiaki Noguchi, deputy chief of Mazda’s powertrain development department. car car reports. “It’s a dream of Mazda engineers to have a sports car with a spinning top. Now is not the time.”
Why so? Because Mazda’s priority is currently the electrification of its offer. Whether it’s meeting emissions standards or meeting global deadlines, Mazda has obviously focused on electrifying its cars. The Rotary Range Extender in the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is part of that, and that’s how the future of Mazda vehicles will be. Remarkable, Every Mazda vehicle will be electrified in some form by the end of this decade.
To put it bluntly, Mazda has sidelined the idea of a rotary-powered sports car, but it can happen. It’s just a matter of when.
For now, Wankel engine fans will have to be content with the 830cc petrol grinder inside the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV. It has a high compression ratio of 11.9:1 and develops 75 hp (55 kilowatts) at 4,700 rpm and 116 Newton meters (86 lb-ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm.
However, it does not drive the wheels. As well as Nissan’s e-power in the Rogue and kicks, it serves as a generator that charges the battery on the go. This increases the range to more than 600 kilometers (373 miles). The main difference, however, is that the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV can be plugged into an outlet, unlike the Nissans.