This is excellent news for rotary lovers the world over! There is however, a caveat. The next production car to harbour a rotary engine will not be powered by said rotary engine.
The Wankel will be reintroduced in Mazda’s first-ever EV as a range-extender. This electric vehicle, set for a 2020 launch, will combine this engine inherent features (small and lightweight) with an as-of-yet undisclosed electric powertrain.
What also remains unknown is what type of car we can expect. While this is not the rebirth of the RX-7 many had hoped for, it is possible that this EV could turn into a production version of the RX-Vision concept unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
This outcome was predicted by many, including us, and it makes sense on a number of levels. The Wankel engine’s characteristics make it a shoo-in for this type of application. We predict that its use as a range-extender will be applied to a number of future electrified Mazdas and we do hope that a performance car will grace showroom floors as well.