Patents filed in Europe look very promising indeed.
The Mazda MX-30 appears to be as close as we're going to get to seeing rotary technology on the road again, but having such a motor exist only as a range extender is not what any fans of the unique engine want. We fell in love with rotary engines for the way they sound and the way they rev, and the more rotors there are, the more aggressive such sounds become. Now, we hate to get your hopes up again, but there appears to be reason to be quietly optimistic about the possibility of a rotary engine returning, thanks to patents filed with the European Patent Office.
The patent filings appear to be part of a series that, when combined, seem to make up the designs for a front-engine, rear-drive sports car that uses 48-volt hybrid technology and even features a transaxle gearbox. Most interestingly and excitingly, the patent drawings seem to suggest that the engine would be a triple-rotor, a setup that was only available to the public in the Eunos Cosmo. The bigger four-rotor engine gained international glory in the 787B prototype that won Le Mans in 1991. If these patent filings are for a single car and this car does make it to market, it would have to do so very soon.
Emissions regulations are getting tighter with every passing year and the sooner a rotary engine returns to a production car, the better. Mazda has shown its love for the Wankel motor numerous times over the years and has continually been rumored to be reviving such a powertrain, but the longer the automaker delays, the less likely it is that we'll see such a thing on our roads before it becomes outlawed.
We hate the idea of reporting on rumors that have been suggested plenty of times before, but over the past year, the rumors have held an air of credibility thanks to Mazda's design of a rotary-inspired logo and its trademarking of unique names. Hopefully, 2022 will finally be the year that Mazda makes an official commitment.