The rotary revival rumours were true. After years of talk that Mazda was planning to bring back the spinny Doritos to help make EVs better, the company has finally confirmed it. Mazda has spelled out its electrification plans a little more thoroughly and there is a rotary renaissance on the way.
Only this time, the strange triangular engine won't be rocketing the car forward with that signature rotary sound. Instead, it will be used to recharge the battery pack of a range-extended electric car to keep the range anxiety at bay.
Mazda says that its goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent versus 2010 levels by 2050, and part of that is adding some form of electrification to the entire lineup by 2030. Of that, they expect battery electric cars to make up just five percent with the other electrified models making up the remainder.
Two BEVs are in the plan, one that's powered just by batteries and the other that gets the range extender rotary. Mazda says that the engine is small, light, and exceptionally quiet. The company will use that small size and high power output to "make multiple electrification technology solutions possible." Further helping reduce emissions, the rotary will be designed to burn propane and can be used to supply electricity in an emergency.
Mazda says that whatever it does in the way of electrification, the company still plans to keep driver and machine connected. "Using new technologies based on our unique human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will... continue to pursue the joy of driving and work to create an emotional connection with customers," said company President and CEO Akira Marumoto.