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Mazda does a great job with its cars. For a small company it punches well above its weight. I hope it puts the new drive train into something different than what is on the market now. Another small hatch is not what is really needed.
 

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I marvel at the Wankel, and I really hope Mazda overcomes the engineering problems with it.

But as it stands, it's sort of like a 2-stroke gas engine. It never can match the efficiency and emissions of a 4 stroke.

Oddly enough, the winner in the efficiency contest are very large 2-stroke diesels, like they put in ships.
 

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In the article, it seems as if they are still deciding the size of the car, etc. 2019 is only a few years away. Can they create a completely new car in that time frame?
 

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A rotary could be very interesting as a range extender. They are extremely compact, and although less fuel efficient they make a lot of power for the size, avoid problems like under powered engine in i3 REx. My guess is in EREV format the wankel will do better as it limits the range where it has to run, can rely on electric motor for less efficient range of wankel.
 

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A rotary could be very interesting as a range extender. They are extremely compact, and although less fuel efficient they make a lot of power for the size, avoid problems like under powered engine in i3 REx. My guess is in EREV format the wankel will do better as it limits the range where it has to run, can rely on electric motor for less efficient range of wankel.
Hybrid helps make up for the Wankel's lack of low end torque. They are compact but dense, I mean heavy for the size. It's probably turbo charged. My bet is that though improved with respect to previous attempts the mpg will be low compared to the alternatives.

If their car is the size of an i3 this wont matter as it will be a micro-ish urban commuter. If the car is the size of the Volt or larger then it might be for longer commutes and interstate travel. In that case mpg will matter a lot.
 

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I can't see how some of the basic wankel disadvantages aren't going to be carried over into it's use as a range extender. Some people are bitching now that the Volt doesn't do as well as the Prius on gas. It's going to be a challenge to engineer a wankel to match more conventional engines. Going to be interesting.
 

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As the saying goes: "What goes around, comes around". The very first modern serial hybrid was designed and built by Victor Wouk in 1974 using a Wankel gas engine from a Mazda car as a generator, and an electric motor attach to the transmission of a 1972 Buick Wildcat. He submitted his prototype to the EPA who did the very first emission tests. The hybrid passed the test and had high MPG but the EPA never approved it. So Wouk stopped the project but submitted papers of his work to the SAE. The top engineer at Toyota read Wouk's papers and decided to do his own prototype, giving birth to the Prius. Wouk later bought one.

Now Mazda is reviving Wouk's original idea with the same Wankel rotary engine as the "range extender. If he were alive, Wouk would be happy that Mazda used HIS idea, completing a full circle. But I bet that he would be now driving a Chevy Volt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

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I marvel at the Wankel, and I really hope Mazda overcomes the engineering problems with it.

But as it stands, it's sort of like a 2-stroke gas engine. It never can match the efficiency and emissions of a 4 stroke.

Oddly enough, the winner in the efficiency contest are very large 2-stroke diesels, like they put in ships.
I had a look at the comparatively small diesel in a frigate - 8,000 hp at 1000 rpm - that runs on the same fuel used for the gas turbines and helicopter. I was told it weighed almost 40 tonnes. The really impressive ones are in container ships, massive things that run under 100 rpm on bunker fuel, but they are filthy. Ask anyone who lives in a seaport.
 

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I can't see how some of the basic wankel disadvantages aren't going to be carried over into it's use as a range extender. Some people are bitching now that the Volt doesn't do as well as the Prius on gas. It's going to be a challenge to engineer a wankel to match more conventional engines. Going to be interesting.
Mazda does Wankels - it's probably at least in part an identity thing. If it was Porsche they would probably use a flat six. Still, a Wankel in a Voltec-like arrangement would probably be a very neat package, and smooth.
 

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Mazda does Wankels - it's probably at least in part an identity thing. If it was Porsche they would probably use a flat six. Still, a Wankel in a Voltec-like arrangement would probably be a very neat package, and smooth.
Mazda has built plenty of reciprocating engines. I wouldn't be surprised if most Mazdas on the road (or ever built) aren't wankels. Porsche has cars with inline fours and V8s. Not everything they build is a 911 variant. If I were designing it, identifying with a certain ICE design wouldn't be a priority.
 

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Mazda has built plenty of reciprocating engines. I wouldn't be surprised if most Mazdas on the road (or ever built) aren't wankels. Porsche has cars with inline fours and V8s. Not everything they build is a 911 variant. If I were designing it, identifying with a certain ICE design wouldn't be a priority.
All true, but if they were going to float a concept and seek maximum attention for it, they would do best with the Wankel. It worked here. And don't take me so seriously!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All true, but if they were going to float a concept and seek maximum attention for it, they would do best with the Wankel.
Agreed. Floating a concept and seeking maximum attention is what Mazda wants to accomplish. They want to enhance brand image - not design a core product with their EREV.

Wankel's problem with seal longevity will be partially sidestepped by using the Wankel in a limited EREV role. I suspect Mazda's banking on low mile ICE usage here. And that limited EREV role conveniently presents Mazda another opportunity to associate its brand with the iconic Wankel.
 

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I love, love, love Mazda. I once owned a Mazda 6. The only thing keeping me away from the brand is the lack of a plug-in... any plug-in for that matter. I really love their current style language.
 

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All true, but if they were going to float a concept and seek maximum attention for it, they would do best with the Wankel. It worked here. And don't take me so seriously!
It was a joke? I just thought was an expressed opinion, which is just fine. Mine's somewhat different, but that's about it. Sure Mazda is known for it's Wankel engine stuff like the Rx-7 etc. but it's not what most people are buying from them. My casual first thoughts engineering opinion certainly is unlikely to change what Mazda decides to build.
 

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I love, love, love Mazda. I once owned a Mazda 6. The only thing keeping me away from the brand is the lack of a plug-in... any plug-in for that matter. I really love their current style language.
The Mazda 6 isn't Wankel power though, right?
 

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It was a joke? I just thought was an expressed opinion, which is just fine. Mine's somewhat different, but that's about it. Sure Mazda is known for it's Wankel engine stuff like the Rx-7 etc. but it's not what most people are buying from them. My casual first thoughts engineering opinion certainly is unlikely to change what Mazda decides to build.
However, because Mazda has rotary experience and expertise that other companies don't have and there are synergies between EREV and rotary it would make sense that they'd pursue it.
 

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It was a joke? I just thought was an expressed opinion, which is just fine. Mine's somewhat different, but that's about it. Sure Mazda is known for it's Wankel engine stuff like the Rx-7 etc. but it's not what most people are buying from them. My casual first thoughts engineering opinion certainly is unlikely to change what Mazda decides to build.
No, not a joke, just an observation not meant to be taken quite so literally. For what it's worth, I'm the only one in my family who's never had a Mazda. I ran out of fingers counting them, but not one had a rotary engine. And not a dud in the bunch.
 

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However, because Mazda has rotary experience and expertise that other companies don't have and there are synergies between EREV and rotary it would make sense that they'd pursue it.
Sure there's high power potential for it's size, probably low vibration (or at least different from a recip). On the other hand, it's thirsty and emissions IIRC are tougher to control. Wankels have a rep for being gas hogs even with those in love with the power you can get out of them. Maybe Mazda maybe has figured a way around this. There's been more than one comment calling the Prius superior because it gets better gas mileage than the Volt does in CS mode. Still it'll be interesting to see what Mazda comes up with.

I recall reading a comment coming out of someone from GM about the potential for a rotary type range extender too.
 
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