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New Mazda patent suggests rotary-powered hybrid


A newly published patent in Japan is hinting at Mazda making a return to the high-performance sports arena.
Yes, we know this is a well-beaten dead horse but the patent holds some pretty interesting titbits.
It looks like Mazda is working on a car that uses a front-mounted rotary engine (full-sized, not a range extender) and one electric motor to drive the rear wheels as well as one electric motor housed inside each front wheel.

If the capacitors don’t have enough juice when the driver buries the throttle, the battery steps in to assist.
Think of the battery as a back-up to the capacitors. We’re not sure exactly how much charge the capacitors can hold but it sounds like enough to produce some extra output when needed as well as helping reduce emissions when coasting. It seems the capacitors only power the front wheels though.
The patent added the in-wheel motors only generate an output “when a large output is required in the high vehicle speed range.”

Mazda describes the system as lighter than a conventional battery set-up, partially due to the smaller battery but also because the high-voltage wiring only needs to run from the motor in the front wheels to the capacitor under the bonnet.
Interestingly, the patent also says the system can work with rotary, inline and V-shaped engines, which means we could also see it helping out Mazda’s new straight-six engine, set to power the upcoming Mazda6 sedan.
It does pay to mention that patents don’t mean the technology will make it to production. It could just be the carmaker protecting its intellectual property and teasing us a bit in the process. Regardless, it’s exciting to see Mazda is still thinking about the rotary outside of tiddly range-extenders.

Nile Bijoux10:55, Apr 17 2020

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