PostHeaderIcon Patent Application Reveals Mazda's Plan To Bring Back Rotary Engine

This may be jumping the gun a little considering that Mazda itself hasn’t made any confirmation past promises that it’s “doing all it can to bring a rotary to the market” but if this recent patent application by the Japanese automaker tells us anything, it’s that the rotary’s return could happen sooner than later. Granted, nothing has been confirmed yet and there are enough reasons to believe that this patent, as clear and concrete as it looks, should still not be treated as gospel. At least not yet.

About the engine, a long and thorough look at the patent reveals a few important things about its particular design. For starters, Mazda has swapped the locations of the intake port and the exhaust port. Older designs of the Wankel had the intake port at the top of the engine, while the exhaust port resided down low. The rationale behind the switch seems to be catered on Mazda’s desire for easier engine mounting, which in turn helps improve the car’s overall center of gravity.

You’ll also notice that the space from the exhaust port to the turbocharger is a little shorter now. It’s unclear why Mazda designed it like this, but my guess is that it has something to do with ensuring less turbo lag while also allowing for a close-mounted catalyst to sit on top of the engine and help overall emissions, arguably the most glaring problem of the old Wankels.

Clearly, Mazda designed this patent with the intention of using the rotary engine in a future model. That’s the exciting part. What’s less certain is which model it’s going to use it on. Could it be on a production version of the RX-Vision Concept that we saw at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show? All signs seem to point to the returning RX as the car-of-choice that’ll get the new rotary engines, but until Mazda gives the official word, it’s important to remember this is still just a patent application, and more importantly, that Mazda’s plans are still unknown.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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