In case you’re susceptible to daydreaming about slinky roadsters and curvaceous coupes powered by a excessive-revving rotary engine, this information may disappoint.
Mazda, considered one of a dwindling handful of automakers not in possession of an electric (and even hybrid) vehicle, plans to change that standing subsequent yr with the introduction of a small battery-powered car. Coming alongside for the journey ó no less than in a single variant†ó is a rotary fuel engine designed to go unnoticed by the driver.
Talking to Dutch outlet ZERauto.nl, Martijn ten Brink, vice chairman of gross sales for Mazda Motor Europe, stated the electric vehicle and its range-extended sibling will seem in 2019. This jibes with what international powertrain head Mitsuo Hitomi stated late final yr.
Mazda loves gasoline engines, and inner combustion know-how stays the main focus of its lengthy-time period planning. The primarily sparkless Skyactiv-X 4-cylinder†fuel engine is proof of this. Nonetheless, Mazda can’t shy from technological developments in the electric car subject ceaselessly, and the upcoming EV ought to arrive at the similar time as the new crop of fuel-environment friendly compacts.
Sharing a new Small Automotive Platform with the subsequent-era Mazda 2, three, and CX-three, the unnamed EV will debut with dimensions comparable to the three, attainable as a “crossover-like mannequin,” ten Brink stated.
For drivers fearful about operating dry whereas miles from a plug, Mazda will supply the choice of a “a range extender in the type of a wankel engine,” the government added. As there’s solely a lot battery area beneath a vehicle designed for every type of propulsion, range and battery size ought to be mid-pack. Having a rotary on board ó one designed solely as a generator ó not solely eliminates worry of being stranded with out a energy supply in the center of nowhere, it additionally broadens the mannequin’s attraction.
Not that gross sales are a large consideration. Mazda’s treating the upcoming international mannequin as one thing of an experiment. “Whether or not we promote 5,000 or 10,000 of them, we’re going to study a lot from them,” Martijn ten Brink stated.
Mounted flat, the rotary generator will reportedly be no bigger than a showbox, with associated hardware increasing the powerplant’s footprint to that of two shoeboxes. The graceful-operating engine, positioned low in the vehicle, ought to go unnoticed when in operation. (Hardly the religious driving expertise of previous rotaries, but a minimum of it retains the engine sort alive.)
If all this speak of electric automobiles and crossovers has you feeling listless, worry not. There’s nonetheless a hearth burning at Mazda HQ for a true rotary-powered sports activities car. Sadly, no scarcity of uncertainty surrounds this future thriller mannequin, which clearly isn’t at the prime of the automaker’s to-do listing.
– Sure, Thereís a Rotary Engine Coming to a Mazda Vehicle Next Yr, but Itís Not the Main Event –
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