Mazda Files New Rotary Engine Patents in the US

Mazda Files New Rotary Engine Patents in the US

Mazda has patented new rotary engine technology in the US, but it won’t be arriving under the hood of a sports car.

Autoblog has discovered two new U.S. patents filed by Mazda, the first of which is for a small rotary engine that acts as a range extender in a plug-in hybrid EV. Back in 2013, we saw a Mazda2 prototype that used essentially the same setup as described in the patent, which is an electric motor driving the front wheels while a small 0.33-liter rotary engine is mounted in the rear and helps to keep the lithium-ion batteries charged.

In the second patent, Mazda is protecting a start-stop system designed specially for rotary engines. Since the position of the rotor affects the intake and exhaust ports being open or closed, it needs to stop in a specific position that keeps the intake closed to make sure no fuel or exhaust exits the intake. This would help with fuel economy, while a separate system, that would fire a spark plug after fuel flow has been cut is described that would help to reduce emissions.

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This engine is also listed as a range extender, which makes inherent sense for a rotary based on its natural advantages, those being its small size, light weight and high power-to-displacement ratio. Keeping the engine small and light would help with overall fuel economy and packaging.

Of course, Mazda hasn’t alluded to production for a new rotary engine, so for now, all we have is a patent. But it at least confirms that Mazda hasn’t forgotten about the rotary engine.

[Source: Autoblog]

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