Earlier this month Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s global powertrain head hinted that Mazda will finally bring back the rotary engine as a range extender for a future electric vehicle. Now Hitomi has confirmed that the rotary engine has received the green light and will be introduced in 2019 to help power Mazda’s first electric car in 2019.
Hitomi revealed the news to Autocar at the Tokyo Motor Show, where he also revealed that there’s still a chance that the rotary engine could still be used as a standalone engine. “Even if there isn’t a plan to have it in an actual product, of course we are developing a rotary engine alone.”
Why is Mazda using a rotary engine instead of a conventional engine for its range extender? According to Hitomi, “the rotary engine isn’t particularly efficient to use as a range extender but when we turn on a rotary, it is much, much quieter compared to other manufacturers’ range-extenders.”