Technology

Mazda Wants To Use Rotary Engine In Totally Unique Way

Mazda's mad car scientists have been experimenting and the results could be game changing.

In recent months, Mazda has revealed that it’s still fooling around with its signature rotary engine design in an attempt to adapt it to modern tech. Due to its compact size, it’s also ideal to act as a generator for electrification purposes. We also know Mazda is joining with Toyota to further develop the latter’s e-Palette concept, shown earlier this month at CES. But what else can the rotary engine be used for? Is there another type of propulsion technology it can be mated to?

Turns out Mazda engineers experimented with the rotary by combining it with hydrogen-propulsion systems, according to a recent report from Ward’s Auto. Why is this still relevant to know? Because Mazda very much wants to somehow bring back its rotary in a new sports car. “That could be a very environmentally friendly engine,” said Mazda North American president Masahiro Moro. “Or the rotary engine could be a generator to generate electricity. So we have a lot of opportunity for the rotary engine.” Moro also reiterated the rotary’s upcoming use as part of the propulsion system for the e-Palette autonomous vehicle. But what about that sports car?

Well, Moro reiterated Mazda will launch an EV of its own in 2020, so the rotary could be used as an electricity generator there as well. But we happen to like the idea of a new RX with a rotary-hydrogen powertrain. Nothing like that has ever been done before and Mazda, which is now profitable and “fiercely” independent despite its team up with Toyota, really needs to do something bold that will fit in perfectly with its equally bold styling. Oh, Mazda will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020. What better way to celebrate than with an entirely unique blend of powertrain technologies?

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