Mazda Currently Working on the Mazda2 Range Extender
|   Sunday, January 05, 2014
People, who still hope that Mazda will be re-launching its rotary engine after it was last used on the RX8, need to let go of the past. Mazda seems to be more than comfortable with their latest range of diesel engines. Felix Wankel's rotary however could be used as a secondary power source for its hybrids, Mazda 2 subcompact hatchback being the first in range.

Mazda has been doing well both on the street and on track (read as the 24 Hours Le Mans) with its diesel powered vehicles and they have no plans to switch back to the old days.
An engineering study with a test mule is currently underway which Mazda calls the RE Range Extender. It is based on a Limited Lease 2 EV, powered by a 333 cc engine displacing 38 BHP.

The setup spins a generator via a belt, which provides electricity for the lithium ion battery pack, which in turn powers the 101 BHP displacing electric engine. This vehicle has a 2.6 gallon fuel tank as well. Basic drive train measures are yet to be disclosed, even though we are aware of its rear wheel drive train. Mazda claims an average range of 120 to 200 miles while the choice of a rotary engine has been justified due to its low engine noise, refinement and small size.

Mazda created history with its rotary engines and the brand quickly gained prominence on a global platform due to its sleek, powerful yet fuel efficient vehicles. The 0.33 liter rotary engine has been installed solely to power the electric motor. This report comes in a few months after Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai ruled out any possibility of the return of its rotary engine on a mass scale.

Overcoming strict emission laws is possible with the latest power train and we expect Mazda to install this drive train in compact vehicles in future. This tiny engine is not capable of carrying forward the actual weight of the car and hence solely powers its generator. This is a completely new technology which uses conventional fuel and converts it into electricity which in turn is converted to mechanical effort.

Mazda reportedly needs to sell close to 100,000 rotary engines commercially to cover cost of manufacture. Although considering current scenario and market development, this is not a viable option. The RX7 and RX8 are not as popular as they used to be and hence their drive trains are now obsolete too. The Range Extender is currently the only vehicle in Mazda's stable to actually use the rotary engine block, even though plans to introduce this vehicle commercially have not been finalized.

Mazda is working on increasing travel distance without refueling and if current statistics are carefully implemented, we could be looking at a complete range of 400 Miles. Prices and other specifications are out of the question now even though we expect Mazda to start productions soon. Stay tuned for latest updates and reports as we will bring them to you before others.
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