After numerous rumors regarding the return of Mazda's famous (or infamous) rotary engine, the Japanese automaker has confirmed that they will be bringing back the Wankel engine. Don't get too excited though. Instead of finding itself at the heart of a new rotary-powered sports car, Mazda has announced that the motor will now acts as a range extender for eletric vehicles.
To be specific, Mazda's upcoming rotary engine will be recharging the battery pack of electric vehicles in order for it to increase the vehicle's total driving range. Thanks to compact size and high-power output, the rotary engine is said to make 'multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout'.
Curiously, Mazda also mentioned that the forthcoming rotary engine has been engineered to use liquified petroleum gas (LPG). More so, it can also double as a source of electricity during emergency situations. However, details regarding the rotary engine itself are scarce at the moment. The Japanese automaker has also kept their lips shut regarding the possibility of a new RX sports car.
Mazda will be launching its first EVs by 2020 as part of their 'Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030' program, wherein 95-percent of the brand's automobiles will be electrified in some way. The Japanese automaker will be launching two battery-powered EVs at first; one powered exclusively by batteries and the other combining battery power with the rotary engine. The latter is said to help eliminate the 'range anxiety' that Mazda says often troubles battery EV users.
Now that we know Mazda will continue to use the rotary engine, we can only hope that it makes its way back to the heart of a future RX sports car.