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October 2, 2018

Mazda Confirms the Return of the Rotary Engine, Investment in Electric Vehicle Technology

Mazda is now getting onto the electrification bandwagon. The announcement was made today as part of the company’s “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” plan. Among the highlights is the confirmation of in-house developed electric drivetrains and the introduction of two new electric vehicles.

A shift in direction since the long-term vision announcement last year, Mazda says that by 2030, 95 percent of its vehicles will offer some sort of electrification while pure battery-electric vehicles will account for the remaining 5 percent.

To achieve this, Mazda will develop electric drive systems in-house guided by their human-centered development philosophy. Part of their plan is to use the EV drivetrain in hybrids as a torque vectoring system in their vehicles.

Two vehicles will benefit from this new technology. The first is a pure electric vehicle while the second will have a rotary-engine range extender. This is the first official confirmation of the rotary engine’s return, Mazda has chosen this engine type to power its range-extended EV because of the rotary engine’s small size and relative high-power output. It is also smoother compared a two- or three-cylinder engine. Mazda will also tune the the rotary engine so that it can run on LPG and can provide a source of electricity in emergencies.

In the same announcement, Mazda will continue to develop connectivity technologies by leveraging its alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation. This, along with its model-based development will enhance customer satisfaction, according to Mazda.

“They say that the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. At Mazda, we see this as an opportunity to create a new car culture,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda's Representative Director, President and CEO. “New trends and technologies in connectivity, autonomy, sharing and electrification offer new possibilities for creating ever more attractive cars. Using new technologies based on our unique human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will, in the spirit of ‘Never Stop Challenging,’ continue to pursue the joy of driving and work to create an emotional connection with customers that rivals the strongest brands in the world.”

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