Mazda has recently filed six patents in Japan related to rotary engines, according to CarBuzz. These patent filings suggest that Mazda is considering bringing back the iconic Wankel rotary engine, not just as a range extender but as a primary power source for future Mazda sports cars.
Out of the six patents, three of them focus on improving the shape of the rotors themselves. The main objective of these patents is to enhance the fuel efficiency of the rotary engine, which was one of the reasons behind the discontinuation of Mazda’s RX-8 model in 2012. The patented designs showcase different rotor configurations with recessed cutouts of varying dimensions. By modifying the shape of the combustion chamber, which surrounds the spinning rotor within the engine housing, these cutouts enable finer control of ignition, resulting in more complete combustion.
The remaining three patents concentrate on the implementation of exhaust gas recirculation in rotary engines. This process involves cooling the exhaust gases in a heat exchanger and reintroducing them into the engine for improved efficiency. While exhaust gas recirculation has already been utilized in traditional piston engines, Mazda’s patents explore its adaptation for rotary engines. The patents describe an intake design and its integration into the engine.
It’s worth noting that Mazda has previously teased rotary engine enthusiasts with patent filings. Earlier this year, the company filed a patent for a rotary hybrid powertrain featuring three electric motors. Additionally, a 2022 patent filing hinted at a rotary hybrid powertrain paired with rear-wheel drive. However, it’s important to remember that not all patent filings translate into actual products or technologies, so the outcome of these latest rotary patents remains uncertain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about rotary engines
Mazda filed six patents related to rotary engines in Japan. Three patents focused on improving the shape of the rotors, while the other three patents focused on the implementation of exhaust gas recirculation in rotary engines.
The goal of the patents was to enhance the fuel efficiency of rotary engines. By modifying the shape of the combustion chamber through recessed cutouts in the rotors, Mazda aimed to achieve finer control of ignition and more complete combustion.
How does exhaust gas recirculation factor into these patents?
Exhaust gas recirculation, a process already used in conventional piston engines, was explored for rotary engines in the patents. The patents discussed an intake design and its integration into the engine, utilizing cooled exhaust gases to improve overall efficiency.
Are these patents a sign of Mazda’s commitment to rotary engines?
While the patent filings indicate Mazda’s interest in rotary engines, it’s important to note that not all patents result in actual products. Mazda has previously filed rotary-related patents, and while they generate enthusiasm, their ultimate implementation is uncertain.
More about rotary engines
- CarBuzz: Link to the article
- Mazda: Official website (for official updates and announcements)
- Japanese Patent Office: Official website (for information on patent filings)