New Mazda2 To Get Plug-in Version with Wankel Range Extender

The new Mazda2 is indeed on the way, promised to us by the sexy Hazumi Concept they showed at the Geneva Motor Show. We're not 100% sure when it's coming out, but we can tell you it will have both 5-door hatch and 4-door sedan bodies and will run on petrol or diesel.
Mazda Demio/ Mazda2 getting electric version with Wankel range extender 1 photo
Photo: Mazda
However, a recent report from Australian media suggests there's a third, even more exciting version. Motoring magazine states some time in the new Mazda2's life cycle, a plug-in version with a Wankel engine will be put into mass production. They're calling it a hybrid, but since the rotary engine is only there to provide extra electricity, not to power the wheels, this car should actually be classed a range-extended EV.

Fleshing out this otherwise controversial report is the fact that Mazda has very publicly developed its green powertrain. First, an electric version of the current generation hatchback was developed in Japan, after which they started testing for a 330cc single cylinder range extender. Yep, you guessed it, it was a Wankel engine, just like the one in the now defunct RX-8.

The prototype was powered by a 100 hp electric motor with a single speed gearbox that allowed for a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). The first prototypes were shown in 2012, supposedly boasting a maximum driving range of 200 km (125 miles). A year later, Mazda revealed plans for the RE Range Extender. With a displacement the size of a small can of Coca Cola, the motor easily fit under the boot floor, charging the battery when it runs low and extending the range.

We'll know more as early as next month, when the small Mazda will debut in Japan under the local market name "Demio".

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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