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Long live the rotary engine

By FaezClutchless on 06 Sep 2012

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Some of us would know that Mazda plans to use their rotary engine as a range extender for an electric vehicle. But like all plans, we won’t know whether will it be really implemented and if so, when will it be available.

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It seems that Mazda’s plans for the rotary engine are going well and this was positively attested by their CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi, at the recent Moscow Auto Show. And the range-extender vehicle with a rotary engine will be ready by next year.

The Mazda RX8 was the last car from the company to use a rotary engine and its production ended recently. The rotary engine is known to be small and pretty powerful but it has proved to be a rather inefficient engine in terms of fuel economy.

This time round, the rotary engine will be used solely to charge a battery, which will power an electric motor driving the wheels of whichever car it is fitted to. There have been reports of Mazda testing a rotary range extender vehicle that runs on hydrogen but a production version will most likely use regular fuel.

Rotaries are most efficient when they maintain a steady rpm level. Acting as a range extender would allow the engine to operate at a constant rpm. Yamanouchi mentioned that the rotary engine has very good dynamic performance but if a person accelerates and brakes a lot, there will be efficiency disadvantages. The range extender will overcome this by keeping it spinning at its most efficient rpm range at 2,000 rpm.

It was not revealed on what type of vehicle Mazda will use the rotary range extender.

Photo credit: Net Car Show and wallpaper4me

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FaezClutchless
Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.



 
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