Wednesday, September 23, 2020
News New Mazda Patent Shows Rotary Hybrid AWD Powertrain

New Mazda Patent Shows Rotary Hybrid AWD Powertrain

In the name of weight, packaging, and efficiency, Mazda files a patent for a e-AWD hybrid system.


  • There are in-wheel electric motors upfront.

  • Patent shows the use of a rotary and a “V” engine.

  • The petrol engine is assisted by an electric motor to drive the rear wheels.


In the very Mazda way of doing things, the Japanese car company has applied for a patent that, in a nutshell, displays a pair of in-wheel mounted front electric motors indirectly coupled to an ICE that sends power to the rear transaxle via an electric motor. This triple-electric hybrid/EV system is complex and surely expensive which is why it will likely be offered in a future RX performance car.

Mazda Rotary Hybrid AWD patent | Photo: Mazda

Well, at least that’s the thought when it comes to this specific layout. The front in-wheel motors are fed by a 120-volt electrical system, which is separate from the remainder of the car’s electrical circuit. This higher voltage means that smaller motors, and accompanying capacitors, can produce as much power as larger motors on lower voltage. The internal combustion engine, depicted as both a rotary and V-type mill in the patent filing and its 25-kW permanent magnet synchronous are fed by a 48-volt 3.5-kWh battery unit.

There are numerous advantages to this setup. The rear transaxle helps with weight distribution, the small front in-wheel electric motors are light and therefore should not affect handling, and the potential use of a Wankel rotary mill in the engine bay will also keep weight down.

1993 Mazda RX-7 Review

As you can see, and as usual with Mazda, weight is kept to a minimum. We think that should this AWD hybrid/EV actually make it to production, the specs will tell a tale of low weight, medium power output (compared to the 500-750-horsepower+ we’ve come to expect) and blistering acceleration and speed. And, if the car looks anything like the RX-Vision concept, it’ll be a worthy successor to the beloved FD RX-7.

Mazda Rotary Hybrid AWD patent | Photo: Mazda

Mazda Rotary Hybrid AWD patent | Photo: Mazda

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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