Another day, another story about Mazda potentially putting the spinning-dorito back into production. While we’ve posted a few updates on Mazda’s grand idea over the years, there hasn’t really been any product from Mazda apart from some patent drawings with some glimpse of conceptual designs. And guess what, here’s another one.
But this one feeds fuel to the flame because Mazda has reportedly filed patents for a rear wheel-driven sports car featuring an electrically-assisted three-rotor engine and a transaxle gearbox. This comes to light months after they filed a patent for a sports car’s structure which looks a lot like the RX-Vision concept car from years ago.
In case you missed it, the keyword was ‘electrically-assisted’. While it isn’t necessarily a hybrid, it may indicate that the upcoming “whatever-model-Mazda-intends-to-make’ could potentially be a mild-hybrid. Meaning that all your electrical components from your radio to your air-conditioning system no longer run off your engine. They’re specifically powered by the lithium-ion battery.
3-Rotor Wankel and RWD
The patents were filed by Mazda just a week ago on the European Patent Office website with the primary focus being the cooling system for this rotary-electric design, but it’s also very explicit about the layout for which this packaging is intended: Front engine, rear-wheel-drive.
Some have also speculated that if this isn’t an upcoming RX-car, there is a possibility of something called a ‘Cosmo’, which was also a three-rotor Wankel that has been dead for decades. While this is another far-fetched speculation, it would be very surprising if Mazda resurrected the Cosmo name as it would seem very out of place in their current SUV-dominated lineup.
A Cooler Engine Runs More Power
The cooling system of a Wankel engine is in fact very crucial to the system. In case you’re unaware, a rotary engine runs very hot and that buildup of heat has led to all sorts of issues, including dry-rotting of hoses in the engine bay. A Wankel that could run colder, with less heat spreading around the rest of the car, could see a much longer useful life — and maybe even some more power.
While this seems like the actual potential of a Wankel-engine comeback, manufacturers file patents all the time, so don’t put up your hope too high just yet. That being said, Mazda has not given up on the idea, so you shouldn’t too.