Mazda Rotary Engine Returning in 2019 as EV Range Extender

Megalith

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According to Mazda's European vice president for sales and customer service, the rotary engine is finally making its return, but as a range-extender for an electric car. Mounted horizontally, the engine will only serve to generate electricity and have one rotor.

A return of the rotary as a range extender looks probable. Besides the dates fitting with Mazda's electric plans, there are other tidbits from the past that support the idea. Mazda has been experimenting with the idea for years, and even created a functioning Mazda2 EV with a rotary range-extender.
 

nightanole

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Great, lets take the least efficient engine design, worst emissions design, is required to burn oil (yes it makes 2 cycle on the fly, or if your pump dies, you can premix). Its only saving grace is it will be light, compact, and could be quiet. At least it will be a bit more efficient since it will be fixed rpm. Maybe it will be 12k rpm for 5min every hour :)
 

alxlwson

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Great, lets take the least efficient engine design, worst emissions design, is required to burn oil (yes it makes 2 cycle on the fly, or if your pump dies, you can premix). Its only saving grace is it will be light, compact, and could be quiet. At least it will be a bit more efficient since it will be fixed rpm. Maybe it will be 12k rpm for 5min every hour :)


This information is not accurate.
 

Buyers2

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cjcox

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Most exhilarating ride you'll have.... while it still works. Just make sure that you move if "far enough" so the car will start again.
 

criccio

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As a former rotary engine owner who would absolutely buy another, these stories proclaiming the return of the rotary have popped up for years. Not a single one was true.

I'll believe it when i see the cars official release.
 

DocNo

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Kinda surprised they went with the rotary given that they've worked out the issues needed to get their Spark Assisted Homogeneous Compression Engine tech up and working.

Rotary's weigh a fraction of traditional engines. A guy behind me worked on rotary's - he could pick them up without having to use a lift. I'm sure this one will be smaller still since it's just driving a generator.

They actually are very efficient and the seal issues from the 90's and before are long solved; they just don't develop much torque. Not a problem if you are just driving a generator, once up to speed :)
 

ButtonPuncher

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Yeah, mazda has been talking about this for a while. Sucks but makes sense for the reasons that others have mentioned already.

A triple rotor RX-9 would be AWESOME.

Personally, I'd live to pick up an RX-8 and change it to a LSX8 with an all aluminum 6.2L. Or do and twin turbo 3.6L LF3/LF4. I just need to win the lottery.

BP
 

Gman1979

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Ahhh Mazda, zooooom zooom snore.......

You're doing it wrong. Give us a new RX with a hybrid set up. Edrive for low end grunt and MPG/Emissions, 1.3 Rotary for high end fun. You could cut out so much of the need for running the rotary below its optimal envelope where it's least efficient. You still get to keep the lovely brap brap!! sound that will cause other hybrids to go soil themselves in a corner out of shame.


Edit because as long as I'm dreaming, I want said platform in a Miata weight package.
 
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sirmonkey1985

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Yeah, mazda has been talking about this for a while. Sucks but makes sense for the reasons that others have mentioned already.

A triple rotor RX-9 would be AWESOME.

Personally, I'd live to pick up an RX-8 and change it to a LSX8 with an all aluminum 6.2L. Or do and twin turbo 3.6L LF3/LF4. I just need to win the lottery.

BP

nah i want to see an updated version of the R26B quad rotor.. that thing was amazing to listen to on the track.
 

Gman1979

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Yeah, mazda has been talking about this for a while. Sucks but makes sense for the reasons that others have mentioned already.

A triple rotor RX-9 would be AWESOME.

Personally, I'd live to pick up an RX-8 and change it to a LSX8 with an all aluminum 6.2L. Or do and twin turbo 3.6L LF3/LF4. I just need to win the lottery.

BP


If I had ti go Otto cycle in a RX, it would have to be the Audi 5.2 liter V10. 525 hp 391 lb⋅ft torque. It was able to take a 3500 lb R8 Quattro from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds. Last year of the RX8 came in at 2800. So that's gonna be a little quicker. And it runs so smoothly, you can rev the shit out of it.
 

nutzo

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An electric car with a small high efficiency generator for charging the battery and at least a 7 gallon gas tank solves the range problem with electric cars.

I'd rather have a 100 mile battery with a range extender than a 250 mile battery. It's the best of both worlds.

Pure Electric for the commute & regular around town driving, and a quick to fill gas tank while on long trips.

Unlike existing plug-in hybrids, a range extender doesn't need a transmission to connect to the wheels and doesn't need as much HP since you are always running on the batteries.
As long as the extender can charge the battery fast enough to drive the freeway (70 HP would probably be enough), extra HP needed for passing or getting on the free way would be provided by the batteries.
 

Merc1138

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An electric car with a small high efficiency generator for charging the battery and at least a 7 gallon gas tank solves the range problem with electric cars.

I'd rather have a 100 mile battery with a range extender than a 250 mile battery. It's the best of both worlds.

Pure Electric for the commute & regular around town driving, and a quick to fill gas tank while on long trips.

Unlike existing plug-in hybrids, a range extender doesn't need a transmission to connect to the wheels and doesn't need as much HP since you are always running on the batteries.
As long as the extender can charge the battery fast enough to drive the freeway (70 HP would probably be enough), extra HP needed for passing or getting on the free way would be provided by the batteries.
You mean like diesel-electric locomotives have done for decades, since you can just run the engine at it's most efficient RPM at all times? Yeah, it's a great idea. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be "green" enough for some people so we've got the chevy volt(which is a piece of shit car made for midgets btw) and eventually maybe this...
 

collegeboy69us

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As a former rotary engine owner who would absolutely buy another, these stories proclaiming the return of the rotary have popped up for years. Not a single one was true.

I'll believe it when i see the cars official release.

Owned a 2005 RX8 - and it was indeed fun, it was sexy (at the time) and the first ever brand new car I bought after college. I loved that car. That being said, my apex seals did blow as I was cruising down the highway one night, luckily it was just in warranty and I got a "new" engine.
 

collegeboy69us

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You mean like diesel-electric locomotives have done for decades, since you can just run the engine at it's most efficient RPM at all times? Yeah, it's a great idea. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be "green" enough for some people so we've got the chevy volt(which is a piece of shit car made for midgets btw) and eventually maybe this...

Have 2017 Gen2 Volt - am 6'1, and I fit just fine. Back seats are crap-small but I don't have kids so meh. For driving almost 80 miles a day for work... I'm pretty damn pleased with the amount of gas I use. 70% of that is all electric, with an option for 350 more miles of gas powered go time.

Since I can't afford a Tesla just yet, it's pretty damn perfect for what I need and satisfying the itch for a car that's primarily electric.
 

serpretetsky

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The newer single router designs are ultra light and super efficient. A number of militaries around the world have started using them as portable generators.

Here is an article from 2015 on the newer designs.
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a15233/liquidpiston-darpa-contract/
Are you aware of militaries that use a generator based on liquid piston design? As far as I knew they haven't actually built a production model yet. I haven't heard anything from liquidpiston for about a year or more now.
 

nutzo

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You mean like diesel-electric locomotives have done for decades, since you can just run the engine at it's most efficient RPM at all times? Yeah, it's a great idea. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be "green" enough for some people so we've got the chevy volt(which is a piece of shit car made for midgets btw) and eventually maybe this...

When the Volt was originally announced, there was a lot of misinformation.
They implied that it was a serial hybrid that the gas engine only charged the batteries), but once it was released, it was obvious that they lied and it was no different that other plug-in hybrids.

Besides range, my big problem with most electric cars and plugin hybrids is the lack of space for a spare tire.
My Camry hybrid has a slightly smaller trunk then the non-hybrid, but still has a spare tire.
 

alxlwson

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When the Volt was originally announced, there was a lot of misinformation.
They implied that it was a serial hybrid that the gas engine only charged the batteries), but once it was released, it was obvious that they lied and it was no different that other plug-in hybrids.

Besides range, my big problem with most electric cars and plugin hybrids is the lack of space for a spare tire.
My Camry hybrid has a slightly smaller trunk then the non-hybrid, but still has a spare tire.


Most vehicles are not coming with spare tire anyway due to weight savings, and it must be purchased as an addition.

I feel like I remember reading rumors around the Volt before it came out. I was pretty damn excited for it. The possibility of a DE powertrain. I was gonna have to get an airhorn for it :D

Then we got just another hybrid
 

TordanGow

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Most vehicles are not coming with spare tire anyway due to cost savings, and it must be purchased as an addition.

I feel like I remember reading rumors around the Volt before it came out. I was pretty damn excited for it. The possibility of a DE powertrain. I was gonna have to get an airhorn for it :D

Then we got just another hybrid

FTFY
 

buzzbomb

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Great, lets take the least efficient engine design, worst emissions design, is required to burn oil (yes it makes 2 cycle on the fly, or if your pump dies, you can premix). Its only saving grace is it will be light, compact, and could be quiet. At least it will be a bit more efficient since it will be fixed rpm. Maybe it will be 12k rpm for 5min every hour :)

Mr. nightanole, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
 

gunbust3r

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Oh Mazda you need to keep your lips shut until the production car rolls off the cargo ship ready to be on a dealer lot. Remember when you were going to have a Diesel for the US in 2011, or ever going to make another MazdaSpeed, or put AWD in the 6 or 3? Yeah dont talk the talk unless you have a product to ship.
 

Seventyfive

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"he said it would be similar in size to the Mazda3, and it might even be a crossover. "

Great job Mazda. You learned nothing from Nissan kicking your ass with the 350z vs the Mazda RX8 to get people excited about a brand. You learned nothing from Nissan making the GTR a halo car for the brand. Instead you want to make your next rotary engine a crossover instead of a 400+hp 2 seater beast. Yea people are definitely going to wet themselves and drive to the dealership to check out your crossover idea.
 
D

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When the Volt was originally announced, there was a lot of misinformation.
They implied that it was a serial hybrid that the gas engine only charged the batteries), but once it was released, it was obvious that they lied and it was no different that other plug-in hybrids.

Besides range, my big problem with most electric cars and plugin hybrids is the lack of space for a spare tire.
My Camry hybrid has a slightly smaller trunk then the non-hybrid, but still has a spare tire.

That was original intention. This is similar to how a diesel train operates. But they discovered they couldn't get the efficiency they needed, so they scrapped the idea and went with conventional.

If the motor is 40% efficient when tuned to operate at a certain RPM, and the electric conversion process 90% efficient, you're looking at 36% efficiency. So what happens when you use a full range motor that is 36%->38% efficient in it's main operating power band? It may be less efficient, but you don't lose on the gas->electric conversion.

Mazda supposedly solved a lot of the valve seal issues and managed to reduce the oil consumption quite a bit in experimental prototypes. But nothing ever came from it. Rotaries suck for torque. You have to stomp them like Ferrari's to get any good HP out of them.

As they say, "There's no replacement for displacement"
 

nutzo

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Most vehicles are not coming with spare tire anyway due to weight savings, and it must be purchased as an addition.

I don't have a problem with having to pay extra for a spare.
The problem with most electric and plugin hybrids is that they don't even have a space for a spare tire.
Might be ok if you have a trunk and you just put the spare in your trunk (using up what little space the battery isn't taking).
However, most electric and plugin hybrids are hatchbacks, and having an unsecured spare tire sitting behind the back seat (if there is even enough room) is not safe if you have an accident.
 

Gmok Bonecrusha

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Mr. nightanole, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

To his defense the engine was discontinued for SOMETHING. What I remember was that it didn't do well on emissions when that became a hot topic. Also wasn't the fuel efficiency pretty meh?
 
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Forced induction is a damn fine replacement for displacement.

If you don't mind less efficiency, premium fuel, unreliable power delivery, and turbo burnout. There are trade-offs to everything. Given a 400 HP NA 6.0L versus a 400HP FI 3.5L, I'll take the 6.0L every time. It's useful power band is still wider.
 
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To his defense the engine was discontinued for SOMETHING. What I remember was that it didn't due well on emissions when that became a hot topic. Also wasn't the fuel efficiency pretty meh?

Yes and no. It would get 32MPG. The reason being it was so small and lightweight it saved MPG so less fuel had to be used, even if the burn was less efficient. What is spit out though wasn't that clean.

They were working on a prototype. Never heard what happened to it. A good portion of the un-burnt fuel gets re-burnt. Somehow Mazda figured out how to recycle the un-burnt fuel. Possibly through some centrifugal exhaust separation process. (Unburnt fuel weighs more and gets thrown to the outside in a curve)
 

Sikkyu

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Not a bad idea, if it is cheap enough, the rotary will defiantly be small enough.
 
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Even if this is produced it will not likely be for the U.S. This is Mazda 2/Demio with a single rotor extender. The spinning up to 9,000RPM to make any power is the cause of poor emissions and fuel economy. Running a a consistent low RPM they are very fuel efficient, light weight and compact. This isn't much different than the BMW i3 with range extender.
 

Lakados

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Are you aware of militaries that use a generator based on liquid piston design? As far as I knew they haven't actually built a production model yet. I haven't heard anything from liquidpiston for about a year or more now.
From what I have heard they are on track for their genset for the CAP (Compact Artillery Power) systems for the M777 Howitzer's, and if they can shave a few pounds off it it will fit in the next version of the predator drone.
 
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This is not correct.

Nothing I said was incorrect. Even with the latest small spoolup turbos, power delivery can be quirky and not what you expect.

I've raced enough around the track, turbo and naturally aspirated. I'll take my V8 displacement please.
 

alxlwson

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Nothing I said was incorrect. Even with the latest small spoolup turbos, power delivery can be quirky and not what you expect.

I've raced enough around the track, turbo and naturally aspirated. I'll take my V8 displacement please.



What is a small "spoolup" turbo? Or is this some madeup term from "tuners"? Are you referring to a VGT? A dual series compound VGT setup? An ALS turbo?

What's wrong with power delivery? Either you have the right components with the correct PCM tune, or you don't. If you've done your build correctly for your application, then there is nothing unreliable about it.

You can drive the car all you want. I'm a Ford Senior Master (specialized Powerstroke) tech. I've seen the crap that people do to their vehicles that suffer from driveability issues. I've built many a 2.5k/5k hp/lbft engines with zero power delivery issues with local pulling teams. Sounds like you need to get a better builder or quit cheaping out on parts.

Please provide examples of this quirky power delivery.
 
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What is a small "spoolup" turbo? Or is this some madeup term from "tuners"? Are you referring to a VGT? A dual series compound VGT setup? An ALS turbo?

What's wrong with power delivery? Either you have the right components with the correct PCM tune, or you don't. If you've done your build correctly for your application, then there is nothing unreliable about it.

You can drive the car all you want. I'm a Ford Senior Master (specialized Powerstroke) tech. I've seen the crap that people do to their vehicles that suffer from driveability issues. I've built many a 2.5k/5k hp/lbft engines with zero power delivery issues with local pulling teams. Sounds like you need to get a better builder or quit cheaping out on parts.

Please provide examples of this quirky power delivery.

That explains it. I DISLIKE FORD TURBOS. Nothing personal, but I won't touch one. Everyone I know who had one had turbo burnout over 100K. This from a man who bought mostly fords his entire life. (Two tauruses, a cougar, and a probe.) And you can't tell me those turbos don't require higher octane fuel.

Small spoolup...Spoolup the time it takes for the turbo to get to speed and deliver pressure. Also known as turbo lag. By reducing the turbo size, you reduce the spool up time. We use spool up time in aerospace engineering to describe what a jet engine does as well as it builds pressure.

Problem is with turbos it's hard to predict what the manifold pressure will be like when you stomp on it. You may get considerably more or less power than you expected depending on what the turbo speed is and how much pressure is already in the manifold. It's not horrible, but not as predictable as I like.

Like I said, I'll take my cooler running wide power band displacement.
 

alxlwson

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That explains it. I DISLIKE FORD TURBOS. Nothing personal, but I won't touch one. Everyone I know who had one had turbo burnout over 100K. This from a man who bought mostly fords his entire life. (Two tauruses, a cougar, and a probe.) And you can't tell me those turbos don't require higher octane fuel.

Small spoolup...Spoolup the time it takes for the turbo to get to speed and deliver pressure. Also known as turbo lag. By reducing the turbo size, you reduce the spool up time. We use spool up time in aerospace engineering to describe what a jet engine does as well as it builds pressure.

Problem is with turbos it's hard to predict what the manifold pressure will be like when you stomp on it. You may get considerably more or less power than you expected depending on what the turbo speed is and how much pressure is already in the manifold. It's not horrible, but not as predictable as I like.

Like I said, I'll take my cooler running wide power band displacement.


Wasn't uncommon to get turbos with a million miles on them. What killed a lot of them was people running induction cleaning on them, and it would get them so hot that it would degrade the oil seals.

The MAP sensor does a pretty good job of giving you actual manifold pressure ;) and the IAT and CAT sensors do pretty good with giving the PCM some good numbers for CA 02 density.

I drive a '17 Fusion with the eco. Does not require higher octane fuel, but you sure can tell a huge difference with running mid or premium. I only run it to help keep down the soot collection on the valve stems. Pretty big known problem on DI engines, BMW even publish a really nice paper on it back when they started fooling around with DI.

Wide powerband, eh? Don't get any wider than a FI engine with a roots blower. :D
 
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