As the day for reviving the trademark rotary engine of Mazda has come nearer, people are starting to get more excited. This is due to the fact that it could debut as soon as 2019 in the U.S.
However, the upcoming iteration is heading toward releasing an electric vehicle. According to international powertrain executive Mitsuo Hitomi, this technology will work as a range extender engine. This in turn will generate power for the battery-operated vehicle.
Hitomi added that the technology behind the rotary engine should be great as a range extender because it is powerful and compact, aside from generating at low vibration. Moreover, it provides a way of keeping the technology established by Mazda alive.
The plan by Mazda was to bring the electric vehicle (EV) along with the hybrid car within the year 2019. Its program manager stated that the EV will come in a couple of designs. One will be a range extender, while the other will be a pure electric vehicle.
The pure electric vehicle will be marketed in Europe, China, and Japan, where it can get by with shorter range. On the other hand, the range extender will be sold in North America and related markets where daily drives require longer range. The future plans of Mazda include the development of a larger rotary engine that would power a sports car someday. Hitomi further stated that the only challenge is not technology but another performance entry car which is already playing its role.
Mazda has already made the rotary engine, which was the first to market such a technology in 1967. This was crucial to its 787B race car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race back in 1991.
The company has retired the rotary engine model with the RX-8 in 2012. However, Mazda revived a prototype powered in gasoline at 0.33-liter range extender in a hatchback model to run on an electric motor in 2013. The vehicle was named RE Range Extender during that time, which was short for Rotary Engine Range Extender.