Mazda Rotary Engine Returns In 2020 As An EV Range Extender

Mazda has been teasing the topic for quite some time, publishing various patents and ideas on how it could revive its defunct Wankel rotary engine, but now, it's officially official: the Japanese automaker will bring back its famous rotary engine in 2020.

Before you celebrate, we should note that the revived rotary won't be used in the traditional sense of powering a car, at least not yet. Instead, Mazda plans to raise its iconic powerplant from the grave to give it new life as a method to extend the range on its upcoming electric cars. 

The details of Mazda's grand scheme were revealed on Tuesday as the automaker published information pertaining to its plans for electrifications. Like many manufacturers, Mazda has become infatuated with the idea of diving head-first into electrifying its entire lineup of vehicles but despite its existing electrifying partnership with Toyota, it doesn't quite have the footing in the battery market like certain other automakers.

Using the rotary engine as a supplementary form of electric charging, vehicles will be able to effectively extend their range without plugging in to charge. Essentially, Mazda is trusting the rotary engine to utilize its small, lightweight form factor and generally quiet operation to make electrified driving undisruptive to vehicle owners.

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