Wankel rotary engine

Popular Mechanics:

Back in March, Martijn ten Brink, Mazda Motor Europe’s vice president of sales and customer service, ignited gearheads everywhere when he told Dutch auto news outlet ZERauto that the Wankel rotary engine will return to production.

Specifically, ten Brink said the rotary could become a range extender for an electric car in 2019, and for now that’s just a rumor.

Mazda Motor of America won’t discuss or confirm ten Brink’s comments, telling us only that “Mazda hasn’t announced any specific products featuring a rotary engine at this time. Mazda remains committed to working on rotary engine technologies, however.”

7 comments for “Wankel rotary engine

  1. microdave
    May 24, 2018 at 14:58

    Whilst Mazda’s sterling efforts to solve the rapid seal wear appear to have worked, the Wankel engine suffers from poor thermal efficiency, due to the large surface area of the combustion chamber. In these “environmentally conscious” times I am surprised that hasn’t taken precedence. Maybe they don’t expect a “range extender” to run for long periods, and the benefits of compact size and high power to weight ratio over poor fuel consumption won the argument?

    Lot’s of views in the comments here:
    https://www.quora.com/Why-didnt-the-rotary-engine-replace-the-piston-engine

    One referred to Wiki, and says the fuel consumption issue is solved when running at constant revs, others that they need to be worked HARD – idea for driving a generator as a range extender.

  2. dearieme
    May 24, 2018 at 20:03

    I wonder whether they suspect that once drivers are used to the smoothness of the electric drive they will dislike the feel of a reciprocating engine starting?

    Anyway I thought microdave’s list of merits might be a pretty good explanation of why Wankels are good for this niche.

  3. dearieme
    May 25, 2018 at 09:53

    I’ve always wanted Mazda to sell a car called the Ahura.

    • May 25, 2018 at 10:50

      Or even Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu.

    • Chuckles
      May 25, 2018 at 13:53

      Looks a lot like a Ford Lately.

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