MAZDA STICKS BY ROTARY
Wankel engines will feature in future Mazdas, but perhaps not as we've known thus far
However, at least in the near-term, Yamanouchi-san says the future for rotary engines is as the power for range-extended electric vehicles.
“The rotary engine has very good dynamic performance,” he says, “but it’s not so good on economy when you accelerate and decelerate. However, with a range extender you can use a rotary engine at a constant 2,000rpm, at its most efficient. It’s compact too.
Mazda will launch its first rotary powered range extender EV next year, but will initially only lease a small number of the vehicles in Japan while it further develops the technology.
Speaking at the Moscow show, Yamanouchi-san also said that the former Le Mans winner would like to get back into motorsport but the costs involved meant it would only be an engine supplier to private teams for the mid-term future.