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Two articles on future RX7

Old 09-18-15, 03:33 PM
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Cool Two articles on future RX7

Published on Fox News today.
Mazda continuing development of Wankel rotary engine

The rotary engine is still spinning at Mazda.
The automaker ceased production of its Wankel motors in 2012, but Mazda president Masamichi Kogai told Autocar that he still has a team working “very enthusiastically” on the technology in an effort to make it viable for future use.

Compact rotary engines have long been highly regarded for their power density and turbine-smooth operation, but the relatively poor torque, efficiency, and emissions performance endemic to the design have kept them from competing with piston engines in mainstream cars.

Kogai didn’t reveal exactly how Mazda is addressing those issues, but added that it won’t bring back rotaries until they can compete with conventional engines. Along with powering sports cars like the RX-7, Mazda has used rotaries as range-extenders in several hybrid prototypes, including a hydrogen-burning model that Fox News tested in 2009.

But while Mazda’s success at resurrecting the rotary is far from assured, the 40th anniversary of the RX-7 is coming up in 2018. A successor to that is rumored to be revealed then, which makes it a tempting target date to get the job done by.

Published in Autocar.
Mazda pushing ahead with rotary tech.
Dedicated development team on Wankel power indicates a long-awaited successor to the RX-8

Mazda is pushing ahead with rotary engine development in the clearest sign yet that the firm still harbours ambitions of bringing back its iconic RX series of sports cars using Wankel technology.

The Japanese manufacturer killed off its last rotary-engined sports car, the RX-8, back in 2012 as its motor faced ever-tightening emissions regulations. The firm did build a prototype turbocharged RX-8, but that car would have failed to meet European requirements too, and its further development could not be justified on Japanese sales alone.

However, the Mazda’s president Masamichi Kogai has confirmed at the Frankfurt motor show that the company still has a dedicated engineering team focused on rotary engine development and revealed that its staff are working “very enthusiastically” towards bringing the technology up to the standards of contemporary piston engines.

This would require considerable improvements in cold-start characteristics, CO2 emissions and torque at low revs, but Kogai reiterated that Mazda will not bring back rotary power unless it can match the standards of other ‘conventional’ engines.

Kogai did not outline a timeline for any return of the RX brand - indeed, he declined to specify precisely why the rotary development team still exists - but it’s feasible that a successor to the RX-8 could appear by 2018, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original RX-7.

Mazda has also experimented with using rotary engines for different applications beyond being the sole powertrain for a vehicle. It has applied for patents using a rotary engine as a range extender on a hybrid system and even demonstrated a prototype based on the previous generation of its 2 supermini back in 2013.
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Old 09-18-15, 06:53 PM
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Good news
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Old 09-20-15, 10:00 AM
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I didn't see this posted anywhere on rx7club, so here's a third article: Mazda to revive RX rotary next month

It features an unusual combination of:
- a named source ("Mazda's global marketing chief Masahiro Moro" rather than the usual "unnamed insider");
- a short-term deadline (next month TMS rather than 2017 or 2020);
- the indication that something will be shown to the public (rather than the usual "work continues in the research center").

Honestly I can't think of any other recent article that had all of these features at once, so this looks like a good sign IMHO.
We'll see in little over a month if and what will be shown. It may be the RE range extender or something Rx related. Or both.
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Old 09-20-15, 11:29 AM
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Sounds promising...
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