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Mazda Engineer Wants New Rotary to Be Turbocharged

7 Février 2016 - Autoblog

Mazda RX-Vision concept

Hope springs eternal for Mazda to revive the high-revving Wankel engine for a new sports car, and the company keeps feeding that thirst with hints that it could happen.

To make the possibility even more tantalizing, Mazda drivetrain and powertrain assistant manager Tetsushi Marutani tells Motoring that he wants the updated mill to pack a turbocharger.

"Personally, I think that a rotary with some turbo or compressor would be good," Marutani said to Motoring. "Because a rotary, in my opinion, they require more [torque at] low speed, low down torque. So if we have some small compressor or turbo it would help."

Mazda hasn't sold a rotary-powered model since the RX-8 and hasn't had a turbocharged one since the third-generation RX-7. However, the recent RX-Vision concept (above) at least hinted at a possible Wankel revival, and Mazda officials confirmed that its engineers continued to develop the engine since the RX-8's demise.

The RX-Vision used a next-gen rotary called the Skyactiv-R, but Mazda didn't officially confirm any details about it. Rumors suggested the engine had a two-rotor layout with a total displacement of 1.6 liters. A two-stage electric turbo and hybrid powertrain would allegedly boost the total output of around 450 horsepower. The electric assistance could also counter the Wankel's lack of torque at low revs and poor fuel economy.

Those rumored specs sound fantastic, but we still take the rotary's return with a grain of salt. Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai is adamant that it's not worth the company's limited resources to develop a niche sports coupe instead of better selling vehicles.

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