Patents filed over a year ago that finally are public point to a more powerful rotary design from Mazda.
As far as indicators pointing towards an RX-8 successor and the return of a more powerful rotary coming soon, this published patent certainly adds fuel to the rumor mill. Earlier last week Mazda’s “Rotary piston engine mounted on a vehicle” patent was finally made public. All patents go through an 18-month waiting period from the time of filing to when all details are made public so it’s not like this new rotary design is a leaked trade secret. But it does hint at Mazda wanting to really open up the potential of rotary design.
According to the patent designs themselves, with the turbo now mounted on top and intake and exhaust piping routed 180 degrees from their conventional configuration, Mazda is able to extract more power and possibly more boost. Check out a couple of screenshots from the patent filing below. Let us know in the comments if you think this is Mazda’s way at hinting at a possible RX-8 successor.
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In the above photo, you’ll see that Mazda has highlighted where the turbo would be normally mounted on a rotary engine, near the bottom close to the exhaust manifold. But now with the turbo on top, the engine is able to sit lower in the chassis and in a smaller space. The skies the limit (err…engine hood) as to how big a turbo they can now strap onto the rotary body.
With the intake port now at the bottom, their’s naturally a larger length of the intake passage than a conventional configuration. Mazda plays this to their advantage with a term called the “dynamic forced-induction” effect. More air going into the turbo at a higher rate of speed means a bigger combustion and thus more power.
And with the exhaust port positioned above the engine, a shortened exhaust passage means reduced length of travel for the exhaust gasses extracting more power across the power band. Look at any serious high-horsepower drag racer of the four-cylinder FWD variety and you’ll see nary an exhaust system. In its place is a piece of piping shooting out of the hood. Does this mean that Mazda might ditch an undercarriage exhaust and opt for some trick sidepipes?
Late last year we wrote up a piece (linked below) on a verified rumor that Mazda will be using turbos on their next Rotary and this pretty much confirms it. Two years prior there was even a rumor that this new Rotary would be making upwards of 450 HP. Not to mention that Mazda’s lovely RX-Vision Concept was unveiled earlier last October during the Tokyo Motor Show with a renewed commitment to their rotary technology through their Skyactiv suite of enhancements.
The writing is on the wall. If Mazda is indeed bringing out a successor to the RX-8, this new engine would be it. Mazda very well may be making a concept Mazda RX-9 as we speak with all the Kodo design concepts of the RX Vision Concept and a turbocharged rotary that will enable it to keep pace with the best of what everyone else has to offer.
With Nissan’s GT-R being the vanguard for a Japanese super car revival, the introduction of the NSX and a new RX-9 on the warpath, a 90’s supercar revival might be on the horizon.