Mazda Confirms Rotary Engine Will Return in a Hybrid

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

Mazda has confirmed the rotary engine will return in 2020.

The beloved engine will serve as a range extender in a future hybrid, the automaker confirmed today. The hybrid will also launch alongside Mazda’s pure electric vehicle in 2020.

In a statement, the automaker said the rotary range extender is well suited for use as a range extender due its compact size, quiet operation and high power output.

“Mazda will initially launch two battery EVs. One powered solely by battery, the other pairing a battery with Mazda’s small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet rotary engine as a range-extender,” the automaker said in a release. “The range-extender will recharge the battery when necessary to increase the vehicle’s driving range, eliminating the range anxiety which continues to trouble a high percentage of battery EV users.”

“The rotary engine’s small size and high power output make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout,” it added. “Taking advantage of the rotary engine’s compatibility with gaseous fuels, the rotary-powered range extender is designed to also burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies.”

SEE ALSO: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

The rollout of the hybrid and pure EV are part of Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 vision, which aims to reduce Mazda’s corporate emissions by 50% of its 2010 levels by 2030. The automaker says it also hopes to send examples of its rotary range extender hybrid to “areas affected by natural disasters,” in order to provide “LPG-generated electricity for those in need.” This commitment to sustainability and helping the public represents another part of the 2030 corporate vision.

Mazda also said it will be “exploiting the advantages of electric drive in combination with the company’s proprietary technologies to produce EVs that not only comply with ever tightening environmental restrictions, but also fulfill its ongoing commitment to Hashiru Yorokobi -the ‘exhilaration of driving’.” In short, Mazda is focusing on making its cars and its business better the environment – but it remains committed to making its cars fun to drive.

Discuss this story on our Mazda Forum.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

More by Sam McEachern

Join the conversation