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Mazda's high-revving rotary engine has been on a long hiatus, save for the range-extended version of the MX-30 that was introduced last year. Just know that the MX-30 has been a complete flop and has already left the U.S. But there's still hope for true rotary-powered successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 of old, especially with the introduction of the stunning, rotary-hybrid Iconic SP Concept at last year's Tokyo Motor Show.


But the Iconic SP isn't our only hint, as Mazda has directly confirmed in an exciting announcement that its dedicated rotary engine team is back in business. The "RE Development Group," which is made up of 36 engineers focusing on––you guessed it, rotary engines––is the first team of this nature since the previous rotary team fell apart in 2018. Mazda says this team will help to bring "attractive cars that excite customers with our challenger spirit," though a new vehicle hasn't been confirmed yet.




At the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon (not to be confused with the Tokyo Motor Show late last year), Mazda CEO Katsuhiro Moro addressed the widespread enthusiasm received over the Iconic SP Concept. "I am very happy and deeply moved by all the support and encouragement I have received for the compact sports car concept," he said. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all. With your encouragement, we are launching a rotary engine development group on February 1 to move closer to this dream." Could that dream be Mazda's 13th rotary-engined car, one that will fill in the empty void that has affected Mazda's lineup since the RX-8 left us back in 2012?


Even if it is, it's worth noting that Mazda's next rotary engine won't be powering any wheels. Just like in the Iconic SP and, on a smaller scale, the forbidden-fruit MX-30 R-EV, the engine will serve as a generator for the vehicle's battery. The Iconic SP in particular features a 365-hp powertrain comprising of a two-rotor engine, which in turn provides power for the battery. The engine uses good ol' gasoline to motivate the rotors and the connected battery, but hydrogen and renewable fuels are supported as well. And in case we find ourselves in a place where none of those power sources are available, the battery can also be juiced up by itself with nothing more than a household outlet.



If the Mazda Iconic SP does end up coming to fruition, it likely won't arrive for a couple more years, but we'll definitely be staying tuned for more details on this reborn rotary sports car.


Image Credits: Mazda
Report
Feb 9, 2024
 •

Mazda Rebuilds Rotary Engine Team, Stirring Up Hope For RX-8 Successor

The news comes after the previous rotary team split up in 2018.

Mazda's high-revving rotary engine has been on a long hiatus, save for the range-extended version of the MX-30 that was introduced last year. Just know that the MX-30 has been a complete flop and has already left the U.S. But there's still hope for true rotary-powered successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 of old, especially with the introduction of the stunning, rotary-hybrid Iconic SP Concept at last year's Tokyo Motor Show.


But the Iconic SP isn't our only hint, as Mazda has directly confirmed in an exciting announcement that its dedicated rotary engine team is back in business. The "RE Development Group," which is made up of 36 engineers focusing on––you guessed it, rotary engines––is the first team of this nature since the previous rotary team fell apart in 2018. Mazda says this team will help to bring "attractive cars that excite customers with our challenger spirit," though a new vehicle hasn't been confirmed yet.




At the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon (not to be confused with the Tokyo Motor Show late last year), Mazda CEO Katsuhiro Moro addressed the widespread enthusiasm received over the Iconic SP Concept. "I am very happy and deeply moved by all the support and encouragement I have received for the compact sports car concept," he said. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all. With your encouragement, we are launching a rotary engine development group on February 1 to move closer to this dream." Could that dream be Mazda's 13th rotary-engined car, one that will fill in the empty void that has affected Mazda's lineup since the RX-8 left us back in 2012?


Even if it is, it's worth noting that Mazda's next rotary engine won't be powering any wheels. Just like in the Iconic SP and, on a smaller scale, the forbidden-fruit MX-30 R-EV, the engine will serve as a generator for the vehicle's battery. The Iconic SP in particular features a 365-hp powertrain comprising of a two-rotor engine, which in turn provides power for the battery. The engine uses good ol' gasoline to motivate the rotors and the connected battery, but hydrogen and renewable fuels are supported as well. And in case we find ourselves in a place where none of those power sources are available, the battery can also be juiced up by itself with nothing more than a household outlet.



If the Mazda Iconic SP does end up coming to fruition, it likely won't arrive for a couple more years, but we'll definitely be staying tuned for more details on this reborn rotary sports car.


Image Credits: Mazda

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