Two years ago, Mazda officially announced that the rotary engine would be making a return to their lineup. There was a catch though. At the time, the automaker announced that the Wankel motor would be used as a range extender for their upcoming electric vehicle. They did not mention whether it would make its way to a new rotary-powered sports car in the future.
Since then, the Hiroshima-based automaker has kept a tight lip about the rotary engine, even in range extender form. But with the MX-30 and its cool “suicide doors” officially introduced in Japan, Mazda has reconfirmed that the fabled Wankel will be returning very soon and as a range extender. In fact, Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said during a presentation that the new rotary engine will hit the markets in the first half of 2022. Meanwhile, a fleet of prototypes will on the road testing by January 2021.
Marumoto did not disclose any details about the rotary engine as a range extender apart from it being used in the MX-30 EV. Yes, they'll be using it in a crossover, not a sports car.
It is also uncertain whether the same EV setup will make its way to other models in Mazda’s lineup. Expect finer details such as displacement and how many rotors the engine will have to be announced in the future.
It is very exciting to see that Mazda kept their word and revived the rotary engine, even if it is just a range extender. Still, we’re still hoping that the automaker has some sort of performance model in the works that will use the fabled engine. After revealing the RX-Vision concept a few years back, we wish Mazda would turn it into reality sometime in the future. The rotary engine’s already there, Mazda just needs to stick it into the RX-Vision and call it a day right?
For now though, if you want to drive a brand new rotary-powered Mazda again, you'll have to wait in 2022 when the MX-30 EV with range extender arrives.