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Spinning in Circles: Mazda’s Rotary Ambitions Still Very Much Alive

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It looks like we get a brand new replace about Mazda’s plan for the rotary engine each few months. The automaker stored tinkering with the know-how after the RX-eight’s demise, however effectivity mandates left the excessive-revving Wankel on the sidelines, prohibiting the introduction of a real successor to the rotary coupe. But the motor hung round as the corporate’s probably answer for hybrid automobiles, recharging the battery whereas electric propulsion takes care of ahead momentum.

Whereas that makes the chance of an RX-9 sound relatively bleak, the corporate doesn’t need anybody to surrender hope. Mazda nonetheless wishes such a vehicle and the corporate’s European vice chairman of communications, Wojciech Halarewicz, has principally stated will probably be a executed deal if they will discover sufficient cash in the finances for a flagship sports activities car.

“We all know that electric automobiles can be necessary in 2020 to 2025, but in addition that EVs aren’t the reply for every little thing,” Halarewicz advised Piston Heads. “Combustion engines will nonetheless play an element, and in case you requested me if I need a rotary sports activities car on the prime of the range, I’d say sure I’d like to have one. Lots of my colleagues would too. So it’s a matter of maintaining the gross sales progress going to ensure we will do one in the longer term.”

That’s not precisely a definitive promise, however with Mazda having spent good cash to advance rotary know-how, primarily in the service of range extension and potential hydrogen purposes, it might be foolish to presume they haven’t discovered a couple of tips alongside the best way. Perhaps there’s already an upsized rotary ready in a warehouse someplace, prepared for motion.

Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s head of engine improvement, has already hyped the rotary’s potential as a gasoline-pushed power complement for EVs. Whereas it’s not probably the most environment friendly design, it may be made lifeless silent when operated at a continuing velocity. Final yr, Hitomi stated Mazda was working onerous to make the setup work as an efficient range extender. He famous that the automaker would proceed creating a full-sized rotary even when it failed in that position.

Across the similar time, Mazda admitted it needed one other RX mannequin, however stated it needed to be cautious. “We’ve twice had dangerous expertise for rotary engines for our monetary state of affairs, subsequently we have now to rigorously think about and punctiliously determine how to try this,” defined Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda’s head of analysis and improvement. “A number of the stakeholders and shareholders can’t permit it at this second. If we will get extra strong enterprise construction, I can clarify it, I can get approval. If it’s wanted.”

None of this is able to be noteworthy if we didn’t maintain listening to everybody at Mazda saying the very same factor. As soon as Mazda has slightly additional money to burn, it may construct the RX-9 and its electric push shall be a serious deciding issue. Mazda’s first EV in scheduled to launch in 2020, thanks to assist from Toyota, and extra fashions are to comply with. In the meantime, model gross sales have remained strong inside Europe and North America, slipping ever so barely (globally) in 2017 and coming again comparatively robust for the primary half of 2018.

We’ll need to see how Mazda’s EV gross sales pan out earlier than we permit ourselves to turn out to be preoccupied with the idea of rotary-powered efficiency mannequin. Nevertheless, the automaker made endurance a troublesome advantage to take care of with 2015’s RX-Imaginative and prescient Idea. Mazda’s designs are steadily extremely attractive and the hypothetical RX-9 stays one of many best-wanting cars we’ve ever seen.

[Images: Mazda]

– Spinning in Circles: Mazda’s Rotary Ambitions Still Very Much Alive –

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