Mazda Wankel Rotary engine is finally returning after a brief hiatus due to ever more strict emissions standards. In a brief Interview with Drive, an Australian automotive publication, Mazda's Managing Executive Officer, Ichiro Hirose, confirmed new gen of emissions friendly rotaries is on the way!
The Rotary engine is known for its ability to rev to the moon and burn obscene amounts of both oil and gas in the process. This lovable engine produced a unique driving experience and a cult-like following of Rotary faithful. Ever since the last Rotary powered Mazda, the RX-8 was discontinued in 2012 Mazda fans have been asking for the next iteration of this special engine.
According to Ichiro Hirose of Mazda in an interview with Drive, Mazda's new XEV Rotary engine is capable of passing the strictest of emissions standards. This was initially believable since many skeptics thought it would simply act as a range extender for EV power plants like in the Chevy Volt, but as it turns out Mazda has even better news.
Ichiro Hirose Went on to tell Drive, " “We made an announcement that we are considering the combination of the rotary-based range extender and combined that with battery EV,. What that entails is not simply a combined solution you’d find normally but it falls under what we call an umbrella term ‘XEV’, and what that means is that of course the range extender and the rotary engine has two functions. It has the generator function and also it can be used to provide the driving force to give you traction.”
This would mean Mazda's XEV would act in a similar fashion to Toyota's Prius where the engine charges the batteries and can drive the front wheels. Pretty exciting news that the Rotary will be more than a simple charging device.
This exciting Mazda XEV tech is confirmed to work in American by Ichiro, "If we were to introduce it in the US we would comply with the [stringent] level regulations during when the rotary is in operation. So, we have been able to make progress. I’m just saying that – theoretically - if we were to introduce it in the US we would be able to comply with the strictest of regulations.”
This is exciting news for this American author who happens to love Mazda's insane flame spitting rotary. If batteries and hybrid tech can bring it back, so be it!