How A Patent May Signal Mazda’s Return To The Wankel Engine

Patents, filed in Japan and published earlier this week, show the filing date to be nearly two years old, with patents filed in Europe, speculation that this may be Mazda’s latest Wankel rotary engine.

Mazda may soon have something up its sleeve when it comes to the haloed Wankel rotary engine because recent patent applications reveal something is brewing.

These patents refer to a 48V hybrid drivetrain with three rotors; could this be the last chance for a Wankel engine before the Euro 7 emission rules scheduled for 2025 become law. The Euro 7 emission standards are the European Green Deal targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

As it is, the Wankel rotary engine presents many problems in complying with emission rules.

A three-rotor engine is also a surprise, although a Wankel engine in the Mazda 787B was the culmination of Mazda’s rotary-engined Group C race cars at the 59th 24 Hours of Le Mans 1991, to become the first Japanese car to win the race it used a quad-rotor.

The high-revving Wankel engines produce an impressive amount of power, 200 + horsepower from a tiny 1.3-litre engine in the RX-8. It seems as though Mazda has been playing with using them in hybrids because they’re light and excel as electric generators.

We can only wait and see; time is running out for Mazda with the invention of Felix Wankel, a German engineer in the early 50s.