Mazda “rotary engine” revival, why now? At the mercy of regulations and simplification of management, the rotary fire protected Mazda – AUTOCAR JAPAN

rotary engine regeneration

Mazda Europe, Mazda’s European subsidiary, has announced that it will unveil the MX-30 range extender for the first time at the Brussels Motor Show in Belgium (January 14-22, 2023).

A range extender is a type of EV (electric vehicle) that has an engine or other prime mover dedicated to a generator in order to extend the cruising range.

Mazda Europe will unveil the MX-30 Range Extender for the first time at the Brussels Motor Show.

In Mazda’s case, the engine to be installed is a rotary engine.

Mazda’s rotary engine vehicles have been vacant for about 11 years since the “RX-8”, which sold a total of about 190,000 units between 2003 and 2012.

Why did Mazda revive the rotary engine at this time?

Looking back, Mazda’s rotary engine history has been full of twists and turns…

Mazda’s rotary engine began in the 1960s with a technical partnership with Germany’s NSU and Wankel. “Cosmo Sports” appeared in 1967, six years after the technical partnership.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, Mazda continued to develop its own rotary engine.

However, while the entire car industry is in the midst of exhaust gas regulations, Mazda is the only company in the world that produces large-scale rotary engines for mass-produced vehicles.

The next “RX-7” may not come true…

Under such circumstances, after the mid-1990s Mazda faced a crisis of Rotary’s survival.

With the end of production of the “RX-7”, the concept model displayed at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show was the “RX-01”, which was an image of the next RX-7.

Mazda RX-8
Mazda RX-8