Rebirthed Rotary

Photography by: Mazda/Prime Creative Media

Once lauded for its outstanding performance, unique idle, exhaust note and the sports cars it powered, Mazda’s rotary engine is going to be used as a generator in its future plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.

Rebirthed Rotary
The Mazda rotary will live on in hybrids.

With the reinstatement of its Rotary Engine (RE) Development Group within its Powertrain Technology Development Department, Mazda said it’s accelerating its research and development of rotary engines adapting them to a new era in its efforts to continue to deliver the joy of cars, through solutions appropriate for the times.

The new RE Development Group will continue its research and development of its rotary engines as generators. This includes the use of carbon-neutral synthetic fuels and meeting legislative requirements, in major markets.

Mazda Motor Corporation director, senior managing executive officer and chief technology officer, Ichiro Hirose said: "In Mazda’s history, the rotary engine is a special symbol of our challenger spirit.

"We are deeply grateful to all those who have supported RE to date and are pleased to announce the rebirth of the organisation that develops RE, the engine that has been loved by customers around the world.

"For the last six years, RE engineers have been part of the engine development organisation where they engaged in the development of state-of-the-art internal combustion engine functions as well as the ultimate improvement in efficiency.

"Those engineers have broadened their perspective beyond the boundaries of engine systems and have trained themselves to master the Model-Based Development, which is one of Mazda’s engineering strengths.

"This time, 36 engineers will gather in one group to make a breakthrough in the research and development of RE. In the age of electrification and in a carbon-neutral society, we promise to keep delivering attractive cars that excite customers with our challenger spirit."


Mazda RX series set the world on the rotary journey.

The rotary engine made its Mazda debut in 1967, in the futuristic Cosmo Sport and has been the signature of many models over the decades. 

A large chunk of Mazda’s global success is down to its rotary engine, with many of its models now highly valued and collectable, such as the RX series from the RX2 to
the RX-8. 

Rotary powered race and rally cars have triumphed around the world, locally taking class wins at Bathurst many times. Allan Moffat successfully campaigned a Mazda RX-7 to clinch his fourth Australian Touring Car crown.

In June 2023, Mazda resumed mass production of rotary-engined vehicles for the first time in approximately 11 years, since the end of production of the Mazda RX-8 in 2012. Currently, the rotary engine powered Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV has been introduced in Japan and Europe. 

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