Did Mazda just confirm their next turbocharged rotary engine?
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Throughout the development of their next generation rotary-powered sports car, Mazda has been very open about the process, and has kept the world reasonably updated on the matter.
A pair of patents that the Japanese manufacturer filed in January of this year may show the turbocharged rotary engine that could be destined to power the next generation of the RX line.
Rotary engines aren't known for their stellar fuel efficiency, and this is one aspect that Mazda has struggled with while trying to bring the engine into the modern market. The fact that these patents have released may mean that the issues have been solved.
In the detailed renderings, a new side-port exhaust arrangement can be seen, which is said to improve intake efficiency. Alongside this, a unique turbocharger design can be seen which is bespoke to this engine.
While the patents were released in Japanese, they have since been translated, and improved fuel efficiency seems to be the theme across all of the upgrades.
Mazda has said in the past that some sort of rotary engine could be introduced as a range extender to sit alongside their electric engines.
"Inside Mazda, we all have the dream of seeing one day a vehicle powered by a rotary engine. But given the number of things we have to do, we had to put this on the back burner, and we have no time frame," Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said.
If anything, these patents show that Mazda still has faith in the rotary engine, and while the incredible RX-Vision concept from 2015 may not be hitting production anytime soon, we can hope.
If you are interested, you can take a look at the patents here.