Mazda will bring out a rotary powered range extender ev by 2019
So it seems the rumours were true. According to Australian automotive site GoAuto, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda's R&D chief confirmed last week at the LA Motor Show that Mazda would in fact develop and build a Range-extender EV in line to the prototype the company has been working on for the last few years.
The concept utilised a small 330cc rotary engine, although it is still unclear as to what powertrain the upcoming car would have, let alone the extent to which Toyota would be involved in the electric side of its development (Fujiwara touts “We are developing an EV system by ourselves” although notes "Sharing is a discussion point," perhaps a sensible statement given Toyota's $10 billion annual R&D budget).
What exact platform the car is to be built upon remains to be seen, as does the list of the countries that can expect a Mazda electric vehicle. No doubt it is a significant announcement given Mazda's prior reluctance to dip in the growing pond of low emission vehicles.
Anybody hoping for an electrically-assisted RX Vision production model can be aptly disappointed, as Mr. Fujiwara also ruled out a hybrid version at launch. Still, the return of the rotary engine to mass-production should have fans excited.