Fourth-Gen Mazda MX5 To Go Rotary-Hybrid? Not So Fast

Fourth-Gen Mazda MX5 To Go Rotary-Hybrid? Not So Fast

We’ve heard of people swapping Mazda rotary engines into older Miatas, but if reports out of Japan are to be believed, the next MX-5, due out in 2012, will come standard with an all new, super efficient rotary engine – as well as a hybrid system.

7Tune is reporting that an article in the Japanese magazine Best Car outlines Mazda’s plans for a “rotary hybrid” MX-5, set to compete with the “Hybrid Sports” competitors from Honda and Toyota. After that, things start to get a little suspect, as 7Tune reports that

“According to the popular magazine, Mazda is pondering whether to offer their newly developed Sky-G Hybrid Rotary Engine in a 1.2 liter ( commonly known as the 12A ) or 1.3 liter ( commonly known as the 13B ) engine capacity for their venerable Roadster.”

Despite these claims, the SKY-G has previously been announced as a highly-efficient piston engine, while the 12A – and the 13B for that matter-  hasn’t been build for a couple decades. Last December, the SKY-G seemed to be a sure bet for the MX-5, and the engine was confirmed off the record through Mazda sources, who stressed that the new car would be an ultra-lightweight affair, with a 1.3L SKY-G being an integral part of the package. To put a rotary into an MX-5 would be a dangerous blurring of Mazda’s two strongest brands, their RX sports cars (famous for their rotary engines) and the MX-5 (which follows the classic 2-seat, bare bones sports car format that has made it so successful).

On the other hand, Mazda recently announced a patent for a new type of integrated electric motor, mounted in the wheel hub. A compact system like this could actually work on a car like the MX-5, where packaging and a light weight are essential, bu only time will tell what powertrain Mazda decides to go with for their iconic sports car, but with over 1 million cars sold over 20 years, Mazda has a lot of customers that they can’t afford to alienate, and a hybrid system would be the antithesis of the no frills experience that made the MX-5 such a hit.

[Source: 7Tune]

  • disappointed hondafan

    I doubt seriously that the mx-5 will go the hybrid route in 2012. However, if I am proved wrong, I just hope MAZDA does ruin totally ruin the MX-5 by making it into another CR-Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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  • Cwjojo

    This is rubbish. New rotary is called 16X.
    Has 2 rotors like 12A and 13B however it is
    a brand new engine that has been in development
    for a few years along with Hydrogen power and other
    great features to make it much more efficient and better
    for the environment. There wont be 12a or 13b, its brand new 16x.
    Even I know that!