The company recently filed six new patents for this type of engine in Japan.
Two older patents hint about hybrid powertrains based around a Wankel Rotary engine.
Mazda has already revived the Rotary engine as a range extender for the MX-30 EV in certain markets.
Mazda has long been associated with the Wankel Rotary engine, and the company is still working on possible improvements to this design.
Unlike a regular piston engine, this type features triangular rotors that revolve around a center pivot.
These rotary engines are known to provide high amounts of power at high engine speeds, making them well-suited for sports cars such as the former RX-8.
On the other hand, rotary engines are also usually associated with high fuel consumption, oil consumption, and large amounts of polluting emissions.
Mazda’s recent patents all aim to rectify these issues that led to the discontinuation of the Wankel engine back in 2012.
Indeed, three of the patents show different cutouts on the rotor that aim to improve the engine’s fuel efficiency by modifying the shape of the combustion chamber.
The other three patents all relate to exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). By returning cooled exhaust gasses to the intake in order to be burned a second time, this strategy results in a more fuel-efficient engine that generates fewer harmful emissions.
Conventional piston engines have used EGR for years, but it would be a first for Mazda’s rotary engines.
While the automaker has already revived the Wankel as a range extender for the MX-30 EV in certain markets, these patents describe a larger two-rotor design that could conceivably power a vehicle directly.
This could hint at the possible return of a rotary-powered sports car in the Mazda lineup, especially since the company has already filed two other patents for a rear-wheel drive hybrid powertrain built around one of these engines.
Source: Motor Authority