Mazda's New Rotary Engine Is Almost Here

Technology / 33 Comments

It's right around the corner.

Mazda shocked the world with the RX-Vision concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The concept had all of the right lines and looked absolutely stunning, but we were also interested in what would power the vehicle. We know that Mazda's hard at work on creating a turbocharged rotary engine, but recent rumors have revealed that the new power plant will come out in 2017. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Mazda's rotary so it's the perfect time to reveal the automaker's new engine.

We already knew that the RX-9 will feature a turbocharger, but a source close to Mazda has provided some more insight into the rotary engine. According to Australia's Motoring, an unnamed source close to Mazda stated that the automaker is testing a new hybrid turbo rotary engine-"16X"-that features a twin-800cc rotor set-up for approximately 450 hp. Power will more than likely go to the rear wheels through a rumored dual-clutch configuration that will be integrated into the rear axle for improved weight distribution. Apparently, Mazda engineers are working on a two-stage turbo system that will have an "electric turbo assist" at low rpm and a standard exhaust-driven turbo at higher rpm.

"Engineers will employ a capacitor [a unit that stores power and discharges it on demand] to beef up the rotary's 'instability' at low rpm, and when boost pressure rises, a standard turbocharger will engage to keep the flow of power coming," stated the unnamed source. A two-stage turbo system would cure the rotary's lack of mid-range torque and oil consumption.

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