Does Mazda Still Use a Rotary Engine? Exploring the Future of Mazda’s Popular Engine Technology

Mazda has been a company synonymous with innovation and groundbreaking technology, especially when it comes to engines. One of their most iconic creations is the rotary engine, which has fascinated car enthusiasts for decades. The unique design of this engine makes it stand out from the rest, allowing it to deliver impressive performance and fuel efficiency. But the question that everyone is asking is, does Mazda still use a rotary engine?

If you are a fan of Mazda, then you are probably familiar with the RX-7, which was one of the company’s first cars to feature the rotary engine. This engine became one of the hallmarks of Mazda, and fans were left disappointed when the company stopped producing it in 2012. However, there have been rumors that Mazda is planning to bring back the rotary engine, and car enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for any news on this development.

As it turns out, Mazda has not given up on the rotary engine just yet. In fact, the company has been working tirelessly to perfect this technology and make it even better than before. Mazda has announced that they will be releasing a new car in 2022, and this will feature a rotary engine. This news has excited fans all over the world, and many are looking forward to seeing what Mazda has in store for them. So, hold on to your hats, because Mazda’s rotary engine is back in action!

The history of Mazda’s rotary engine

Mazda’s rotary engine, also known as the Wankel engine, has a unique history in the automotive industry. Invented by Felix Wankel in 1950, the rotary engine has a compact design that allows for high power output and smooth operation. Mazda began experimenting with the rotary engine in the early 1960s and became the first automaker to launch a production rotary-powered car in 1967 – the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S.

The rotary engine quickly became a symbol of Mazda’s innovation and performance capabilities. Over the years, Mazda continued to refine the rotary engine, which was used in various models including the RX-7 and RX-8. However, due to challenges with emissions and fuel efficiency, Mazda announced in 2012 that it would discontinue the rotary engine.

  • 1960s: Mazda begins experimenting with the rotary engine
  • 1967: Mazda launches the world’s first production rotary-powered car, the Cosmo Sport 110S
  • 1978: The RX-7 is introduced, becoming a popular sports car powered by a rotary engine

Despite the discontinuation of the rotary engine, Mazda has continued to innovate and push the boundaries in the automotive industry. In recent years, the company has focused on developing sustainable solutions, such as its SKYACTIV technology that improves fuel efficiency, and its lineup of electric and hybrid vehicles. However, the legacy of Mazda’s rotary engine will always be remembered for its unique and impressive performance capabilities.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Rotary Engines

Rotary engines, also known as Wankel engines, are a type of internal combustion engine that utilizes a unique circular piston design. Rather than the back-and-forth piston movement in traditional engines, rotary engines have a rotor that moves in a circular motion within a housing.

While rotary engines have their advantages, they also come with some drawbacks. Here are a few of the main pros and cons:

Advantages of Rotary Engines

  • Compact size: One major advantage of rotary engines is that they are much smaller and lighter than piston engines of similar power. This makes them a popular choice for high-performance sports cars.
  • Simplicity: With fewer moving parts than piston engines, rotary engines are simpler and require less maintenance.
  • Smooth operation: The circular motion of the rotor creates a smoother overall engine operation with less vibration than traditional engines.

Disadvantages of Rotary Engines

While rotary engines have their advantages, they also come with some drawbacks:

  • Fuel efficiency: In general, rotary engines have lower fuel efficiency than comparable piston engines. This is due in part to the fact that they have a higher surface-to-volume ratio, which can lead to increased heat loss and less efficient combustion.
  • Oil consumption: Rotary engines tend to consume more oil than piston engines, which can lead to increased maintenance costs.
  • Durability: Rotary engines have a reputation for being less durable than piston engines. This is partly due to the fact that the rotor and housing have a larger surface area than a piston engine, which can lead to increased wear over time.


While rotary engines have their advantages, they also come with some significant drawbacks. Ultimately, the choice between a rotary engine and a piston engine will depend on the specific needs of the vehicle and the preferences of the driver.

Advantages of Rotary Engines Disadvantages of Rotary Engines
Compact size Lower fuel efficiency
Simplicity Oil consumption
Smooth operation Decreased durability

As always, it’s important to weigh these pros and cons carefully when considering a rotary engine for your vehicle.

Mazda’s decision to discontinue the RX-8

The Mazda RX-8 was a unique sports car that was equipped with a rotary engine. The rotary engine, also known as the Wankel engine, is an internal combustion engine that has a unique design compared to traditional piston engines. It was praised for its high-revving capabilities, compact size, and smooth operation. However, Mazda’s decision to discontinue the RX-8 marked the end of the rotary engine’s availability in mass-produced vehicles.

  • Mazda’s Environmental Initiatives
  • Challenges with the Rotary Engine
  • Low Demand for the RX-8

One of the reasons why Mazda discontinued the RX-8 was due to their environmental initiatives. The rotary engine had a reputation for being less fuel-efficient and emitting more emissions compared to traditional piston engines. Mazda needed to focus on producing more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles to meet global regulations and reduce their carbon footprint.

Mazda also faced challenges with the rotary engine’s design. The unique design made it difficult to pass emissions and safety regulations in certain countries. The engine’s apex seals were also prone to wear and tear, resulting in lower compression and decreased performance over time. The maintenance and repair costs associated with the rotary engine were higher compared to traditional piston engines, which made it less appealing to consumers.

The low demand for the RX-8 was another factor that led to Mazda’s decision to discontinue it. Sales were declining due to the lack of interest in sports cars, the RX-8’s high price point, and competition from other manufacturers. Mazda needed to focus on producing more popular and profitable vehicle models to stay competitive in the market.

Pros of the Rotary Engine Cons of the Rotary Engine
– High-revving capabilities – Less fuel-efficient
– Compact size – Higher emissions
– Smooth operation – Maintenance and repair costs

In conclusion, Mazda’s decision to discontinue the RX-8 marked the end of the rotary engine’s availability in mass-produced vehicles. Despite its unique design and high-revving capabilities, the rotary engine faced challenges with emissions regulations, maintenance costs, and low demand. Mazda needed to focus on producing more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles to meet global regulations and reduce their carbon footprint. Although the rotary engine had its pros and cons, it was not enough to keep it in production.

Rumors of Mazda’s return to rotary engines

Mazda has a long history with rotary engines. The company introduced the world’s first rotary-powered car, the Cosmo Sport, in 1967. The rotary engine, also known as the Wankel engine, uses a unique design that produces high power and operates smoothly. However, due to its high fuel consumption and emissions, Mazda stopped production of rotary engines in 2012.

Since then, rumors have been circulating about Mazda’s return to rotary engines. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Mazda’s commitment to the rotary engine: Despite the discontinuation of production, Mazda has not given up on the rotary engine. The company continues to invest in research and development of the technology.
  • The RX Vision concept: In 2015, Mazda unveiled the RX Vision concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. The car was powered by a rotary engine and showcased Mazda’s commitment to the technology.
  • Patent filings: Mazda has filed patents related to rotary engines in recent years, suggesting the company is working on new applications for the technology.

However, Mazda has not officially confirmed a return to rotary engines. The company has stated that the technology must meet modern emissions and fuel efficiency standards before it can be brought back into production. Nevertheless, rotary engine enthusiasts remain hopeful that Mazda will find a way to bring the unique power and smoothness of the Wankel engine back to the market.

The future of rotary engines at Mazda

Mazda’s commitment to rotary engines continues to generate excitement among automotive enthusiasts. The company has hinted at the possibility of a new rotary-powered sports car that could be introduced in the near future. However, details about such a car remain scarce.

Meanwhile, Mazda continues to invest in research and development of the technology. The company is exploring ways to improve the fuel efficiency and emissions of rotary engines while maintaining their unique attributes. While there are no concrete plans for a new rotary-powered car, Mazda’s commitment suggests that the Wankel engine may not be gone for good.

The benefits and drawbacks of rotary engines

Rotary engines offer several key benefits over traditional piston engines. They are smaller and lighter, produce high power and torque, and operate smoothly and efficiently. However, rotary engines also have some drawbacks. They are less fuel-efficient than piston engines and produce more emissions. Additionally, rotary engines require more maintenance and can be more difficult to repair than piston engines.

Benefits Drawbacks
Smaller and lighter than piston engines Less fuel efficient than piston engines
Produce high power and torque Produce more emissions than piston engines
Operate smoothly and efficiently Require more maintenance than piston engines

Despite these drawbacks, rotary engines remain popular among auto enthusiasts for their unique attributes. Whether Mazda will bring the Wankel engine back into production remains to be seen, but for now, the rotary engine remains an important part of the company’s history and future.

The iconic Mazda 787B and its rotary engine

The Mazda 787B is a legendary race car that competed in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991. It is notable for being the first and only Japanese car to win the race, as well as for its revolutionary rotary engine. The engine in question is the 13J-M, a four-rotor unit capable of producing around 710 horsepower.

  • The rotary engine used in the 787B is based on the technology that Mazda has been using since the 1960s. This engine type has a unique design that allows it to produce high power and torque in a compact package, making it perfect for racing applications.
  • The rotary engine has been a signature of Mazda for decades and has been used in some of the company’s most iconic vehicles, including the RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars.
  • The 787B is considered by many to be the pinnacle of rotary engine development and was a demonstration of Mazda’s engineering prowess on the world stage.

The 787B’s rotary engine produced a unique exhaust note that is still recognized and revered by car enthusiasts today. The engine’s high-pitched scream as it revs to its 9,000 RPM redline is unlike any other engine sound.

The table below shows some of the key specifications of the Mazda 787B:

Engine 13J-M rotary engine
Power 710 hp
Torque 448 lb-ft
Transmission 5-speed manual
Weight 850 kg (1,874 lbs)
Top speed 208 mph

Overall, the Mazda 787B and its rotary engine are a testament to Mazda’s innovative spirit and engineering prowess. While the rotary engine is no longer used in Mazda’s production cars, it will always hold a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts.

The Future of Rotary Engines in the Automotive Industry

For decades, the rotary engine has been a hallmark of Mazda’s lineup, providing a unique driving experience that can’t be replicated by traditional piston engines. However, some have questioned whether rotary engines still have a place in the automotive industry, particularly as manufacturers push towards electrification and hybridization. Here’s what we know about the future of rotary engines:

  • 1. Continued use in Mazda sports cars: Despite the challenges, Mazda has confirmed that they will continue to use rotary engines in their sports car lineup, including the iconic RX-7 and RX-8 models. The company has invested heavily in rotary engine technology over the years, and they remain committed to refining and improving this unique powertrain.
  • 2. Improved fuel efficiency: One of the key advantages of rotary engines is their compact size and lightweight design, which can translate into improved fuel efficiency compared to traditional piston engines. Mazda has made significant strides in this area with their SKYACTIV-R rotary engine, which boasts up to 30% better fuel efficiency than previous rotary models.
  • 3. Potential for use in hybrid systems: As automakers explore new ways to combine electric and combustion powertrains, there has been speculation that rotary engines could play a role in hybrid systems. Because they are small and lightweight, rotary engines could potentially be used as range extenders or to provide additional power to hybrid drivetrains.

Ultimately, the future of rotary engines in the automotive industry is uncertain. While Mazda remains committed to this unique powertrain, other manufacturers have largely abandoned rotary engines in favor of more conventional designs. However, the lightweight design and potential for improved fuel efficiency make rotary engines an intriguing option for automakers exploring new powertrain technologies.

As with any technology, the success of rotary engines will depend on their ability to meet the changing needs and demands of the automotive industry. For the time being, Mazda and their loyal fans will continue to celebrate the unique driving experience that only a rotary engine can provide.

The Impact of Rotary Engines on Mazda’s Brand Identity

For over 50 years, Mazda has been known for its unique rotary engines, also known as the Wankel engine. This engine design has not only had a significant impact on Mazda’s brand identity but also on the automotive industry as a whole. Here are some of the ways in which rotary engines have influenced Mazda’s brand:

  • Uniqueness: The rotary engine has always set Mazda apart from other automakers. It’s a design that most companies have avoided due to its complexity and high fuel consumption. Mazda, on the other hand, has embraced the rotary engine and has continuously improved its design to make it more efficient and powerful.
  • Sports Car Legacy: Mazda’s rotary engines have been a staple in their sports cars for years. The Mazda RX-7 and RX-8, both equipped with rotary engines, have become iconic vehicles in the sports car world. These vehicles have helped Mazda establish a reputation for producing high-performance, fun-to-drive vehicles.
  • Environmental Impact: While rotary engines have been criticized for their high fuel consumption and emissions, Mazda has continued to improve on the design to make it more eco-friendly. The recent SKYACTIV-R rotary engine concept is a prime example of this. It’s a clean and efficient design that could potentially revive the use of rotary engines in future Mazda vehicles.

Aside from these brand impacts, rotary engines have also influenced the automotive industry as a whole. They’ve proven that there’s a place for unconventional engine designs and have paved the way for other companies to think outside the box when it comes to engine development.

Here’s a table that shows some of Mazda’s most iconic vehicles equipped with rotary engines:

Vehicle Name Engine
Mazda Cosmo 10A (2-rotor)
Mazda RX-7 (1st Generation) 12A (2-rotor)
Mazda RX-8 13B-MSP (2-rotor)

In conclusion, rotary engines have played a significant role in shaping Mazda’s brand identity and have had a significant impact on the automotive industry. While Mazda has discontinued the production of their rotary-powered vehicles, the company still continues to innovate and improve on the design. Who knows, we may see the return of the rotary engine in future Mazda vehicles once again.

Does Mazda Still Use a Rotary Engine?

Q: What is a rotary engine?
A: A rotary engine is a type of internal combustion engine that uses triangular rotors instead of pistons.

Q: Did Mazda use rotary engines in the past?
A: Yes, Mazda used rotary engines in their sports cars like the RX-7 and RX-8.

Q: Does Mazda still make the RX-7 or RX-8?
A: No, Mazda stopped producing the RX-7 in 2002 and the RX-8 in 2012.

Q: Does Mazda still use rotary engines?
A: No, Mazda has not used a rotary engine in any of their production vehicles since the discontinuation of the RX-8 in 2012.

Q: Will Mazda ever bring back the rotary engine?
A: Mazda has hinted that they are working on a rotary engine for use as a range extender in hybrid vehicles, but there is no official announcement regarding the return of a rotary-powered sports car.

Q: Are rotary engines fuel efficient?
A: No, rotary engines are not particularly fuel efficient compared to traditional piston engines.

Q: What made rotary engines unique?
A: Rotary engines were known for their high revving capabilities, compact size, and smooth power delivery.

Closing: Thanks for reading!

Thanks for taking the time to learn about Mazda’s use of rotary engines. It’s sad to see the RX-7 and RX-8 go, but who knows what Mazda has in store for the future. Make sure to check back later for more updates on Mazda and their innovative technology.