Mazda has been known for introducing personalized vehicles equipped with rotary engines. They have publicly announced their commitment to accelerate research and development on the rotary engine (RE) that adapts to the new era. On February 1, 2024, they established the "RE Development Team" as the prologue to a new chapter in the story of the rotary engine.
In order to achieve a carbon-neutral society and continue delivering the joy of driving through solutions that meet the demands of the times, Mazda's newly formed Rotary Engine (RE) Development Team will continue to advance the application of rotary engines in motorsports and conduct research and development on regulatory compliance and carbon-neutral fuels for major markets.
Ichiro Hirose, Mazda's Senior Managing Executive Officer and CTO, stated:
"The rotary engine has symbolized endless challenges in Mazda's history. We sincerely thank everyone who has supported the rotary engine.
We have now reestablished a department responsible for developing customer-favored rotary engines.
Over the past six years, rotary engine technicians have been dedicated to advanced internal combustion powertrain development, focusing on functional enhancements and ultimate efficiency improvements. They have transcended the boundaries of different engine types and trained as experts in developing Mazda models.
Now, with 36 technicians gathered in one team, we embark on a new chapter of rotary engine research and development, overcoming various obstacles.
Even in the era of electrification and carbon-neutral society, we promise to bring exciting and charismatic vehicles to our customers through endless challenges."
The rotary engine is a unique structural engine that generates power through the rotation of triangular rotors. Mazda first introduced the rotary engine in the "Cosmo Sport" model in 1967.
Since then, as the only automaker to mass-produce rotary engines, Mazda has been committed to improving the performance of rotary engines in terms of power output, emission cleanliness, fuel efficiency, and durability. However, after the production discontinuation of the "RX-8" in 2012, vehicles equipped with rotary engines were temporarily halted.
However, in June 2023, Mazda resumed mass production of vehicles with rotary engines for the first time in nearly 11 years. Currently, they have launched the 12th model of rotary engine-equipped vehicle, the "MX-30 Rotary-EV," in Japan and Europe.
Furthermore, at the "Japan Mobility Show 2023" held in October 2023, they showcased the concept car "Iconic SP" featuring a rotary engine for the first time.
This plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is equipped with the "2 Rotary-EV System" capable of delivering up to 370 horsepower and can utilize not only gasoline but also hydrogen and various other fuels.
It is worth noting that at the "Tokyo Auto Salon 2024," there have been implications of the mass production of this Iconic SP, arousing people's interest in the introduction of new vehicles equipped with rotary engines.