04.19.16 - 2003 Mazda RX-8

Mazda Just Won’t Let Go; And We Don’t Want them To

Have you ever seen a dog with a bone? You can’t take it away from them if you want to keep all your fingers and they are extremely protective of the bone they want to eat. Mazda seems to be the same way regarding the Wankel Rotary Engine that has been used in the RX-7 and RX-8 for several years, but this engine faces a great deal of regulation restrictions among its many challenges. You might think after so many years of fighting Mazda would just give up on this engine, but we certainly don’t want them to do that at all.

For several years the RX-7 was offered with a turbocharged rotary engine, but the RX-8 has never had turbocharging and was last seen in 2012. During the past four years Mazda has been working on how to create a rotary engine powered car that will be able to meet all emissions standards, make use of the added power this engine provides, give us reasonable fuel mileage and most of all add the turbocharging back to the mix to allow us even more power than ever before. If they were successful with this you can be the car with this engine under the hood would be bought up in droves, but they seem to be facing many hurdles in their efforts.

In an effort to continue to change the engine to be ready to accept turbocharging Mazda has filed for a patent that changes where the intake and exhaust are set. This new setup is actually perfect for turbocharging by putting the exhaust port on top of the engine in an upwardly pointing way. The intake port is directly below the exhaust port to make this a more efficient setup and offer the ability to add turbocharging to the engine.

These two ports are 180 degrees different from a traditional layout and with the exhaust on top layout there is a straighter and shorter exhaust path to the turbocharger which makes for quicker turbo response and a more efficient conversion of the heat to energy. Not only will this allow for a more efficient transfer, which is a major issue for this engine, but it will add a more compact packaging which is already one of the benefits of this engine, but with this turbo setup the compactness can aid greatly in making this engine more effective than any before it.  As they work on sealing the deal with the patent one can only hope that this dynamic performance foreshadows what’s to come for the future of their tamer turbocharged engines found in the MX-5 Miata or the CX-5.

The Wankel engine is a spinning triangle of compression and exhaust and can provide much more power than a conventional layout, but this engine has always been one that has faced massive emission exhaust and low fuel mileage. Especially in the previous decades these were two items that had to be addressed, but if Mazda were able to create a car using this engine that was able to comply with emissions regulations, we might be able to overlook some of the fuel mileage issues, especially if it was able to scream around the track in an exciting and powerful way.

Leave a Comment