The discontinuation of the Mazda RX-8 in 2011 swiftly put the kibosh on the the availability of the very unique rotary engine. Haters hated, some of us cried, while others ran to the dealership waving fistfuls of money.
However, it appears there’s good news. A new Wankel-powered Mazda could arrive as early as next year.According to Australia’s Motoring, a 2015 Mazda2 plug-in hybrid option will feature a pint-sized rotary engine used as a range-extender. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is.
The upcoming Mazda2 PHEV is expected to utilize the same format as the prototype 2013 Mazda 2 RE (Rotary Engine), which sported a 0.333-liter rotary range-extender.
Mounted on its side underneath the rear of the car, the single-rotor Wankel weighs in at around 220-pounds and is said to be much quieter than an equivalent diesel or gasoline mill. Its mounting points also significantly reduce engine vibration, which is an important factor given the silent nature of today’s electric vehicles.
The 38-horsepower rotary will sip fuel from a teensy 2.3-gallon tank, which effectively doubled the Mazda2 RE’s total driving range to an impressive 236 miles. We hope the rotary likes to play nice though. It’ll be sharing the roost with another fuel-sipping engine in the 2015 Mazda2 – the all-new 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel.