A while back, Mazda has shocked a lot by saying that the chances for the infamous rotary engine in making a comeback is very slim. That had definitely shocked the enthusiasts as Mazda has been giving hopes in actually reviving the rotary engine into today’s vehicles with further refinements in the technology. But there may be a glimpse of hope as the rotary engine now finds a new home, in the form of a Mazda2 Range Extender hybrid prototype hatchback.
The car is basically a prototype that has electric propelling the wheels. But included underneath is also a 0.33-liter gasoline-powered rotary engine situated in the rear, generating power to recharge the car’s lithium ion battery when the power level gets low.
Calling it the Rotary Engine (RE) Range Extender, the car has the similar powertrain found in a Chevrolet Volt, which is also an extended-range hybrid. This particular Mazda has the driving range of about 200km, but the range extender that comes with a 10-liter fuel tank can double the driving range.
If this Mazda2 makes it to the production lines, it could be the changing point where selling 100,000 units of rotary engine is actually possible and probably spell the return of a rotary-powered sports car.