The Japanese automaker first introduced the quirky engine technology 50 years ago and it’s currently hard at work – reportedly – developing the modern take.

Fans will rejoice at the possibility of seeing a rotary engine inside a Mazda model once more, and according to reports we’re not going to wait too much – coming out commercially in about two years. The bad news is Mazda isn’t going sporty with this new derivation of the rotary technology, and instead – according to mounting reports – the Wankel technology will become a range extender for an upcoming plug in hybrid electric model. The theory supports this idea – it’s a compact technology, with high power output, and low vibrations. Mitsuo Hitomi, global powertrain chief for Mazda, has allegedly confirmed during a recent interview that most likely they will use the new Wankel to produce electricity inside a production battery-powered vehicle.

“I think that’s probably what it will be,” Hitomi revealed while speaking on the sidelines of a technology preview at the Japanese company’s roving ground in western Japan. The electric vehicle is coming 2019 with two choices – a pure EV and a plug-in hybrid with a range extender. The latter is considered most suitable for America, where a short EV range is not enough for customers because of the longer daily drives. Mazda is even developing a completely new architecture with BEVs in mind, suitable for both plug in and full EV.

Via Automotive News


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