Mazda’s Rotary Engine Celebrates 50th Birthday

Mazda continues to officially remain quiet on the future of the rotary, but today is all about the engine’s past.

There has been an assortment of rumors in recent years surrounding the development of a next-generation rotary engine by Mazda, but even on the engine’s 50th birthday, the automaker has nothing new to announce.

Instead, it spoke about the history of the rotary engine and how the seemingly impossible task came to be, thanks to a talented team of engineers known as the 47 Samurai. It was on May 30, 1967, that the world’s first production twin-rotor, rotary-engine car went on sale – the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S. Although only 1,176 units were produced, its legacy would go much further with Mazda continuing to develop and support rotary engines for years to come.

Mazda says during its production, over 1.99-million rotary engine vehicles were produced, and for now, it seems like the automaker isn’t looking forward to the two-millionth unit.

SEE ALSO: Mazda Hints At Hydrogen-Powered Rotary Engine

It would have been an ideal time for Mazda to share plans for the future of rotaries on the engine’s birthday, but Mazda chose to talk about its Skyactiv Technology instead. “But, much as was the case with the Wankel rotary engine, developing Skyactiv Technology was thought to be an impossible task, never mind the fact that it was being developed by an independent, smaller automaker during the 2008 world financial crisis,” it said in a press release.

There is a bit of hope, however, as recent reports suggest Mazda is working on a hydrogen-powered rotary engine.

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