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    Mazda's Rotary Engine To Return As Part of Electrification Plans

      Will act as a range-extender


    Mazda is the latest automaker to announced plans for electrify its entire lineup and it will involve the return of the rotary engine.

    By 2030, five percent of Mazda vehicles will be pure electric and range extender models. The rest will have combustion engines with some sort of electrification.

    "We've seen drastic changes in automotive-related environmental policies all over the world. We at Mazda are keeping an eye on what is going on in the industry as we move forward with our strategy," said Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto.

    The push begins in 2019 with a mild-hybrid model, followed by a electric vehicle that is being developed in-house according to Automotive News. A plug-in hybrid will debut in 2021.

    But what about the rotary engine? This will be the range-extender for an electric vehicle that will recharge the battery and provide a longer cruising range. Mazda says the rotary is the perfect engine for this application as it is compact, powerful, and quiet. One interesting tidbit - Mazda says the rotary will be able to burn liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mazda


    MAZDA ANNOUNCES ELECTRIFICATION AND CONNECTIVITY STRATEGIES FOR CARS THAT INVIGORATE MIND AND BODY

    • CONTINUES TAKING A HUMAN-CENTERED APPROACH TO THE JOY OF DRIVING; CONTRIBUTING TO THE EARTH, SOCIETY AND PEOPLE

    October 2, 2018; HIROSHIMA, Japan – Mazda Motor Corporation today announced electrification and connectivity strategies that build on the company’s human-centered development philosophy, aiming to further advance the joy of driving, provide both drivers and passengers with peace of mind through an enhanced sense of connection with the car in everyday driving situations, and offer an emotionally enriching joy of life through car ownership. The strategies are based on Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,” which makes it the company’s mission to preserve the beauty of the earth and enrich society and individual lives and seek solutions in the areas of people, society and the earth.

    The electrification and connectivity technologies outlined below will further enhance the inherent value of the automobile.

    ELECTRIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES
    Mazda will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance the joy of driving by deploying compact, lightweight electrification technologies while further refining the internal combustion engine, which is forecast to be equipped in the majority of new cars for many years to come. The company will introduce electric vehicles as the optimal solution in regions that generate a high ratio of electricity from clean energy sources or restrict certain vehicle types to reduce air pollution.

    • With a view to achieving a 90-percent reduction versus 2010 levels in its corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, Mazda will deploy some form of electrification in all production vehicles by 2030.
    • By 2030, Mazda expects that internal combustion engines combined with some form of electrification will account for 95 percent of the vehicles it produces and battery electric vehicles will account for 5 percent.
    • In-house development of electric vehicles will leverage the advantages of electric drive systems and be guided by Mazda’s unique human-centered development philosophy that focuses on human traits and sensibilities.
    • Mazda will develop two battery electric vehicles, one powered solely by battery and another that pairs a battery with a newly developed range extender powered by Mazda’s small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet rotary engine. The range extender will recharge the battery when necessary to effectively increase the vehicle’s driving range.
    • The concept behind the rotary-powered range extender was to leverage the rotary engine’s small size and high power output to make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout.
    • Taking advantage of the rotary engine’s compatibility with gaseous fuels, the rotary-powered range extender is designed to also burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies.

    CONNECTIVITY TECHNOLOGIES
    In line with its human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will develop connectivity technologies that offer an enriching experience of the joy of life, connecting people by facilitating the sharing of experiences and feelings through cars. By offering this new value together with the joy of driving, Mazda aims to inspire people and enrich society.

    • Contribute to the resolution of social issues, such as the weakening of interpersonal connections that has accompanied changes in society, by connecting people and society through connectivity technologies.
    • Link connectivity with model-based development and reflect the results in future product development, improving quality and customer satisfaction.
    • Leverage the alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation in the development of connectivity technologies.

    “They say that the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. At Mazda, we see this as an opportunity to create a new car culture,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. “New trends and technologies in connectivity, autonomy, sharing and electrification offer new possibilities for creating ever more attractive cars. Using new technologies based on our unique human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will, in the spirit of ‘Never Stop Challenging,’ continue to pursue the joy of driving and work to create an emotional connection with customers that rivals the strongest brands in the world.”



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    I am a fan of the rotary from an engineering perspective, yet from an efficiency point of view, I have to question its use in a PHEV, Hybrid or any other auto. 

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    I am a fan of the rotary from an engineering perspective, yet from an efficiency point of view, I have to question its use in a PHEV, Hybrid of any other auto. 

    It seems their main reason for using rotary is different:

    https://www.motortrend.com/news/mazda-finally-admits-rotary-engine-makes-great-range-extender/

    "Speaking to Autocar, Hitomi said a lot of it has to do with how quiet electric cars are. Because they don't make much noise, it makes sense to avoid using a loud range extender. "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," he said."

    Edited by ykX

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    18 minutes ago, ykX said:

    It seems their main reason for using rotary is different:

    https://www.motortrend.com/news/mazda-finally-admits-rotary-engine-makes-great-range-extender/

    "Speaking to Autocar, Hitomi said a lot of it has to do with how quiet electric cars are. Because they don't make much noise, it makes sense to avoid using a loud range extender. "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," he said."

    Yes I did get that, but then Have you ever heard a loud Prius?

    I would like to see the Db rating of the Mazda range extender compared to the Prius or Volt. I really do have to question the noise comment on this motor versus their commitment to being different because they can with the rotary.

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    Probably still needs torque.  Rotary engines are notoriously low on torque.  Not sure if the EV portion can compensate for that.

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    13 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Probably still needs torque.  Rotary engines are notoriously low on torque.  Not sure if the EV portion can compensate for that.

    Being that it is NOT being used to actually propel the auto, Torque becomes a moot point as you need it to just spin constant to turn the generator to produce electricity. Yet I would think a small Honda Generator would be just as quiet and far more reliable than the Rotary motor.

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      In North America, we will jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs in the market.   
      In China, in order to keep up with the fast speed of electrification, we have already begun introducing battery EV models developed together with our local joint venture companies in China. While envisioning the introduction of battery EV models from the Honda brand, we will continue utilizing local resources in China and introduce more battery EV models in a timely manner to fulfill local market needs in China.
      In Europe and Japan, we will introduce the Honda e, a new battery EV model, which was recently introduced as a prototype at the Geneva Motor Show.
      To summarize, Honda will popularize and improve the business feasibility of electrified vehicles by focusing on hybrid vehicles and battery EVs.
      Changes in operational structure
      In order to ensure the solid implementation of these initiatives I just introduced for our automobile business, we renewed our operational structure as of April. The aims of this structural change are to establish an organization which brings all regional operations together to strongly facilitate inter-regional coordination and collaboration and to increase the speed of our business operations by enabling prompt decisions and prompt execution.
      Today, I introduced our initiatives to strengthen our automobile business structure and the direction of our electrification. Under the new organizational structure, we will realize our goals with a keen sense of speed. 
      Closing
      As we stated in our 2030 Vision, Honda is striving to grow through the pursuit of quality so that we can fulfill our vision to "Serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life's potential."
      Honda will continue taking on new challenges while being driven by strong passion, so that we can continue to be a company that society wants to exist even in 2050 after Honda becomes more than 100 years old. 
      *1 S-E-D-B: Sales, Engineering (Manufacturing), Development (R&D), Buying (Purchasing)
    • By William Maley
      It feels weird to be writing a review of the previous-generation Mazda3 when the new model is currently sitting out front at dealers. But I find this situation to be unique because I had the chance to explore a 2019 Mazda3 to get some first impressions while working on a review of the 2018 model. This gives me a chance to compare the two in certain aspects, along with pondering the question of whether or not the previous model is still a good buy.
      Despite the new model taking the styling up another level, the outgoing model is still a looker. From the bold front end with a large grille and slightly angled headlights, to sculpting running along the sides, the 2018 3 still stands out in the compact crowd. The older design also allows for slightly better rear headroom and a larger area of glass for improved visibility.  But the new 3 holds a significant edge over the old model when it comes to the interior. The modern design and use of high-quality materials really help boost Mazda’s ambitions of becoming something more premium. But the 2018 model I found to have a slightly easier center stack layout and more interior room. One item I didn’t get the chance to play within the 2019 Mazda3 is the infotainment system. Aside from boasting a larger screen, Mazda has also dropped the touchscreen functionality. The latter has been a big issue on some of the recent Mazda vehicles I have driven, including the 2018 3. It is difficult to figure out which parts of the screen are touch-enabled and which aren’t. The system is also beginning to show its age somewhat as the system showed some slowdown in certain areas such as connecting to my phone via Bluetooth. Under the hood of the 2018 model is either a 2.0L or 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. My tester had the latter which produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet. This engine can also be found under 2019 Mazda3, albeit slightly tweaked - 186 for both horsepower and torque. I find the Mazda3 to be the best application for the 2.5 engine. The lighter weight of the vehicle allows the 2.5 to provide a smooth and quick acceleration for most situations you find yourself in. However, the 2.5 feels like it is running out of breath when going above 70 mph, making passing and merging onto a highway slightly difficult. Where the 3 really shines is down a twisty road. Very few vehicles can match the sharp handling characteristics on offer. The suspension keeps the vehicle level when cornering and quickly respond to change in direction. Steering is quick and features a nice weight when turning. Ride quality is slightly rough with a fair number of bumps coming inside. Some of this can be attributed to the 18-inch wheels fitted on my tester.  Should you consider a 2018 Mazda3 when the bright and shiny 2019 3 is available now? I can only give a half-answer as I haven’t driven the 2019 model yet. But having sat in one, I can see why someone would consider it. The impressive design inside and out can make you believe you’re driving something from a luxury brand. The 2018 model still has some things going for it such as having slightly more interior space, similar fuel economy figures, and dealers beginning to lower prices on them to get them out. As I am writing this (May 5th), I have seen dealers in my local drop prices by $1,000 to $3,000 on 2018 models. Right now, I would be willing to pocket the extra cash and go with a 2018 Mazda3. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 3, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 3
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L SKYACTIV-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline:  Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,098 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Mexico
      Base Price: $24,945
      As Tested Price: $28,035 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Equipment Package - $1,600.00
      Soul Red Metallic Paint - $300.00
      Scuff Plates/Door Sill Trim Plate - $125.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $100.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00

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    • By William Maley
      It feels weird to be writing a review of the previous-generation Mazda3 when the new model is currently sitting out front at dealers. But I find this situation to be unique because I had the chance to explore a 2019 Mazda3 to get some first impressions while working on a review of the 2018 model. This gives me a chance to compare the two in certain aspects, along with pondering the question of whether or not the previous model is still a good buy.
      Despite the new model taking the styling up another level, the outgoing model is still a looker. From the bold front end with a large grille and slightly angled headlights, to sculpting running along the sides, the 2018 3 still stands out in the compact crowd. The older design also allows for slightly better rear headroom and a larger area of glass for improved visibility.  But the new 3 holds a significant edge over the old model when it comes to the interior. The modern design and use of high-quality materials really help boost Mazda’s ambitions of becoming something more premium. But the 2018 model I found to have a slightly easier center stack layout and more interior room. One item I didn’t get the chance to play within the 2019 Mazda3 is the infotainment system. Aside from boasting a larger screen, Mazda has also dropped the touchscreen functionality. The latter has been a big issue on some of the recent Mazda vehicles I have driven, including the 2018 3. It is difficult to figure out which parts of the screen are touch-enabled and which aren’t. The system is also beginning to show its age somewhat as the system showed some slowdown in certain areas such as connecting to my phone via Bluetooth. Under the hood of the 2018 model is either a 2.0L or 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. My tester had the latter which produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet. This engine can also be found under 2019 Mazda3, albeit slightly tweaked - 186 for both horsepower and torque. I find the Mazda3 to be the best application for the 2.5 engine. The lighter weight of the vehicle allows the 2.5 to provide a smooth and quick acceleration for most situations you find yourself in. However, the 2.5 feels like it is running out of breath when going above 70 mph, making passing and merging onto a highway slightly difficult. Where the 3 really shines is down a twisty road. Very few vehicles can match the sharp handling characteristics on offer. The suspension keeps the vehicle level when cornering and quickly respond to change in direction. Steering is quick and features a nice weight when turning. Ride quality is slightly rough with a fair number of bumps coming inside. Some of this can be attributed to the 18-inch wheels fitted on my tester.  Should you consider a 2018 Mazda3 when the bright and shiny 2019 3 is available now? I can only give a half-answer as I haven’t driven the 2019 model yet. But having sat in one, I can see why someone would consider it. The impressive design inside and out can make you believe you’re driving something from a luxury brand. The 2018 model still has some things going for it such as having slightly more interior space, similar fuel economy figures, and dealers beginning to lower prices on them to get them out. As I am writing this (May 5th), I have seen dealers in my local drop prices by $1,000 to $3,000 on 2018 models. Right now, I would be willing to pocket the extra cash and go with a 2018 Mazda3. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 3, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 3
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L SKYACTIV-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline:  Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,098 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Mexico
      Base Price: $24,945
      As Tested Price: $28,035 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Equipment Package - $1,600.00
      Soul Red Metallic Paint - $300.00
      Scuff Plates/Door Sill Trim Plate - $125.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $100.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      MAZDA REPORTS APRIL SALES RESULTS
      May 1, 2019
      IRVINE, Calif. (May 1, 2019) – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported total April sales of 19,702 vehicles, a decrease of 14.5 percent compared to April 2018. Year-to-date sales through April saw a decrease of 15.4 percent, with 90,535 vehicles sold. With 25 selling days in April, compared to 24 the year prior, the company posted a decrease of 18 percent on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis.
      CPO sales totaled 5,195 vehicles in April, an increase of 27 percent compared to April 2018. Year-to-date CPO sales through April increased 20 percent, with 19,052 vehicles sold.
      Mazda Motor de Mexico (MMdM) reported its best ever April with monthly sales of 4,295 vehicles, an increase of 2 percent compared to April last year. Year-to-date sales through April increased 18 percent, with 20,484 vehicles sold.

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