Japanese automaker Mazda, famous for its affection with the rotary engines, is seen testing a couple of RX-8s at the Nürburgring– 7 years after the company said goodbye to it. RX-8 was the last rotary-powered production car that was discontinued back in 2012.
So why is Mazda testing the 7+ years old RX-8? Its unlikely that the car will make a comeback, what’s likely is something that’s under the hood. In October last year, Mazda confirmed the return of rotary engine combined with an electric motor as a range extender to charge batteries when required.
Mazda said the rotary engine was chosen as a range extender because of its compact size and high power output. It can efficiently recharge the car’s battery when needed, doubling its driving distance while the setup also generates minimal vibration, helping the car run more quietly.
However, the fact Mazda has continued to develop the rotary engine, and has even already filed patents with improvements to the design, provides some hope for its return in its actual form.
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Mazda is yet to release an official announcement regarding the rotary engine whether it’s going to be a range-extender or the sole powerplant in a new sports car. However from the looks of it, the rotary engine may return to its duty in one form or the other.