Mazda Rotary Engine Returning Thanks to Breakthrough

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

It would have been easy to write rotary engines off the speculative books at Mazda — poor milage and questionable long-term reliability made traditional piston engines seem favorable to many.

Yet against the odds, the Japanese automaker seems to have found a formula to keep the smooth-spinning screamer alive in its lineup.

Mitsuo Hitomi, general manager of powertrain development at Mazda recently said that the company plans to complete development of such an engine that will also meet future fuel-economy and emissions standards.

“We think we’ve found a way to improve the rotary’s fuel economy to be truly equal to that of conventional piston engines and, if so, we believe we can reintroduce the rotary to the market,” Hitomi recently told Ward’s Auto.

Much of the new technological breakthrough came in changing the shape of the troichoid housing so that the seals remained flush to the housing. Better sealing means better fuel economy and overall performance. Since the early days of rotary engines, its seals and its “sealability” have always been an issue, dating back to the mid-1960s. “Even with our current 1.3L Renesis rotary, gaps can develop between the apex seal and troichoid housing in light-load operation when imbalances in centrifugal force and gas pressure occur,” Himoti said.

The next engineering enhancement for the new rotary engine will be a focus on ignition. Unfortunately the engineer couldn’t explain on how the Japanese automaker plans on addressing that problem.

Regardless of the improvements made in the next-generation rotary engine, we expect to see it being used for extended-range electric vehicles and Mazda’s Skyactiv technology to be incorporated.

[Source: Wards Auto]

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • ERNIE BRINK ERNIE BRINK on Jun 23, 2017

    Ernie Brink12 minutes ago THEY ARE LOOKING INTO COMBUSTION SHAPES HEMI? Ernie Brink12 minutes ago THEY ARE LOOKING INTO COMBUSTION SHAPES HEMI? Ernie Brink14 minutes ago DETONATIONS HAS TO BE FIXED YOU DO THAT YOU FIX APEX CHATTERING OFF SET COMBUSTION CHAMBER STOPS THIS AND IN PROVES ING TIMING TRALING PLUG HOLE HAS TO GO THIS THIS HELPS YOUR POWER SRTOKE TWO 270 DEGREES? Ernie Brink14 minutes ago DETONATIONS HAS TO BE FIXED YOU DO THAT YOU FIX APEX CHATTERING OFF SET COMBUSTION CHAMBER STOPS THIS AND IN PROVES ING TIMING TRALING PLUG HOLE HAS TO GO THIS THIS HELPS YOUR POWER SRTOKE TWO 270 DEGREES

  • ERNIE BRINK ERNIE BRINK on Jun 23, 2017

    watch rotary hemi breakthrough on you tube

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