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What goes around comes around… Mazda confirms return of rotary engine

Time 3 years ago

MAZDA’S iconic engine is to return in 2020, with the Japanese firm confirming plans to bring back the rotary configuration.

Set to feature as a range extender for a hybrid vehicle, the rotary engine will have multiple electrification technology advantages thanks to its compact dimensions and high-power output, says Mazda.

Rather than using pistons and cylinders like a conventional internal combustion engine, a rotary unit uses a single rotor for propulsion.


Mazda didn’t invent the rotary engine – that honour belongs to German mechanical engineer Felix Wankel, who received a patent for the tech in 1929 – but the manufacturer arguably made the configuration iconic.

The Mazda rotary engine in close-up

The rotary has appeared in some of the firm’s most famous vehicles – mostly significantly its line of RX sports cars. The last Mazda to use the engine was the RX-8, which ceased production in 2012.

The company hasn’t disclosed any further information on the range extender rotary hybrid vehicle but has said it will be joined by a full battery-electric machine at launch.

It’s a move made as part of Mazda’s ‘Zoom-Zoom 2030’ strategy to cut its CO2 footprint to 50 per cent of its 2010 levels by 2030.

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It also plans for 95 per cent of its vehicles produced in 2030 to be petrol-electric hybrid, with full EVs making up the final five per cent.

MORE: Mazda dealer profitability increased by 38 per cent in 2017

MORE: Mazda UK boss fighting for an RX-8 replacement

MORE: Inside Jim’s Garage – The most northerly Mazda dealership in the UK

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