To many purists, Mazda will perpetually be linked to the rotary engine that the corporate first launched within the 1967 Cosmo Sport and later in a collection of RX-badged sports activities automobiles.
All through the years, rotary engines have performed a major half within the firm’s historical past, together with powering a Le Mans winner, and earlier this yr the engine made a comeback, as a vary extender for the MX30 compact electrical crossover, although not within the U.S.
However may we see a extra highly effective rotary in a contemporary RX? The most important hurdle stays getting the fuel-thirsty engine to adjust to the strict emissions laws whereas additionally boosting output. Mazda’s final rotary sports activities automotive, the RX-8, had solely 232 hp however a V-8-like thirst.
Patent exercise suggests Mazda is hybrid know-how as a attainable answer for a automotive with a rotary instantly powering the wheels.
Mazda patent describing a rotary hybrid powertrain
As first noticed by The Drive, a patent filed by Mazda with america Patent and Trademark Workplace was revealed this week and particulars a hybrid system through which a front-mounted rotary engine (12) is paired with an electrical motor (16), with the 2 energy models sending drive to a transaxle (14c) and in the end the rear wheels (2a). Two extra electrical motors (20), described as in-wheel hub motors, full the powertrain, and provides it all-wheel drive.
An identical patent surfaced final yr however the newest supplies much more element in regards to the electrical facet of the powertrain. The 2 in-wheel motors are described as 17-kw (23-hp) induction motors, whereas the motor paired with the rotary is described as a everlasting magnet synchronous motor with 25 kw (36 hp).
The newest patent additionally has an attention-grabbing idea for the battery system (18) to retailer recovered power and energy the electrical motors. It is a distinctive variable-voltage system the place 4 particular person 48-volt battery techniques are packaged for ideally suited weight distribution. The techniques act individually throughout regular driving, however when peak energy is required switches can join the batteries to type 96-volt models. Such a design means fewer high-voltage connections are required, serving to to cut back weight.
Mazda hasn’t made any point out of plans to launch a contemporary rotary sports activities automotive, although there have been loads of hints over time, culminating with the reveal of the RX-Imaginative and prescient idea in 2015. All the patent exercise means that Mazda hasn’t given up on the concept of a rotary sports activities automotive, even in a world of ever tightening emissions requirements.