Mazda Officially Relaunches Rotary Engine Development Branch

This isn't the first time Mazda has hinted at reviving large-scale production of the rotary engine. Back in 2015 at the Tokyo Motor Show, the RX Vision concept made quite an impression, with its long, slanted nose and hypothetical Wankel engine under the hood. More recently, the automaker made headlines at the same show with the unveiling of the Iconic SP Concept, a small sports car inspired by the RX-Vision concept, but including design elements from the MX-5.

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

The automaker has even offered its small MX-30 SUV a rotary engine as a generator. This e-SKYACTIV R-EV tech acts as a range extender for the electric SUV.

Yesterday, the automaker officially announced the relaunch of its rotary engine research and development division. The "RE Development Group", made up of 36 engineers specialized in this field, will focus on the development of this very special engine.

Photo: Mazda

Indeed, the rotary engine has had its share of problems over the years, especially in high performance applications. But in a context of electrification, the rotor configuration brings clear advantages. It is in this precise context that this group at Mazda wishes to channel its efforts. Mazda wants to continue developing the rotary engine as a generator to extend the range of its future electric vehicles, but the manufacturer is also looking into the research and development of synthetic fuels. Who knows, maybe the brand will succeed in developing a high-performance hybrid/rotary powertrain to power an Iconic SP-inspired sports car!

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