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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mazda May Have Given The Rotary Engine A New Lease On Life

    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    March 19, 2012

    Mazda is the only automaker to stick with the rotary engine; spending a considerable amount of time and money in order to improve efficiency and reliability of the engine.

    Despite saying goodbye to their only rotary-powered vehicle (the RX-8) and no word if there will be a successor, Mazda has made a breakthrough.

    Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s general manager of powertrain development told Ward’s Auto that the company will complete development of an all-new rotary engine that meets future fuel-economy and emissions standards.

    “We think we’ve found a way to improve the rotary’s fuel economy to be truly equal to that of conventional piston engines and, if so, we believe we can reintroduce the rotary to the market.”

    Those improvements Hitomi is talking about include changing the shape of the rotor housing to improve sealing, and designing a new intake manifold to reduce engine displacement. Both are said to improve improve gas mileage and lower CO2 emissions.

    Hitomi also said the company tinkered with the engine’s ignition. He didn’t go into any details, but promised the end result will be “dramatic improvements” in both fuel consumption and ignitability.

    This information is sure to make rotary fans very happy about a new RX vehicle, but Hitomi

    sees another use for it; a range-extender in an electric vehicle.

    When asked when the Rotary with all of these improvements will be seen, Hitomi wouldn’t confirm a date.

    Source: Ward’s Auto

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