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Mazda Still Working on a New Rotary, It Might Run on Hydrogen

Mazda is still working on the next-generation rotary engine, but its next shot at life is reportedly set to involve hydrogen. Rumors claim the next-generation rotary engine from Mazda, is set to be displayed next spring, but company officials have yet to comment on the matter.
Mazda Renesis rotary engine 32 photos
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The news concerning the return of the rotary engine from Mazda is not new, as rumors on the topic frequently emerge. The latest comes from Japan's Best Car magazine, which announced the return of the rotary engine with information from unnamed company insiders.

According to those voices, Mazda is allegedly working on using a rotary engine as a generator in its MX-30 crossover to employ it as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model. Other rumors cited placing a conventional engine under the hood of the MX-30 as a range extender, as well as canceling that version of the model, so it is unclear whether this version of the MX-30 will happen.

Interestingly, Mazda has previously used a hydrogen-powered Renesis rotary engine in its RX-8 model. The latter was offered through a lease deal in Norway, but users had to deal without a trunk, as each model had a large tank inside it to safely store hydrogen. At the time, the vehicle could run on hydrogen or gasoline, and Mazda wanted to know how a rotary performed with hydrogen in the real world.

As the years have passed, many rumors regarding the return of the rotary engine have emerged, but the Wankel engine type has yet to appear in a production model since the end of production of the RX-8.

There is a consensus regarding the rumors on the upcoming rotary engine from Mazda, which involves the use of the Wankel engine as a generator. The scenario would make use of the unit's compact dimensions and its ability to run economically in a particular rev range when it would work to deliver energy to the battery that powers the electric motor used for propulsion.

Hydrogen would also be a good energy source for rotary engines, even if it is not the cleanest fuel in the world. Unlike fuel cells, hydrogen would be burned in the rotary engine, where it can avoid the hot spots that lead to self-ignition in piston-engined units, as the Wankel unit does not suffer from the same issue.

Editor's note: Gallery shows the series MX-30, the MX-30 Concept and a prototype

 
 
 
 
 

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