The Rotary Lives!S

Well, sorta. Even though Mazda's CEO said they could totally quit the rotary any time, like a true junkie, they keep coming back to get their sweet, sweet pistonless fix any way they can. And this time they snuck it into the trunk of a prototype Mazda 2.

The Mazda 2 in question is the prototype Mazda 2 EV with a built-in range extender, in the form of a 330cc, 26 HP rotary engine that runs at a constant 2000 RPM. The engine is mounted flat under the cargo area floor, along with a 2.6 gallon fuel tank.

I'd suppose that keeping it at a constant RPM helps curb the rotary's notorious fuel thirst, and the engine does manage to about double the 124-mile driving range of the electric Mazda 2.

Plus, as James Garner will tell you below, rotaries are very smooth-running engines, buttery, even. That smoothness is a big plus for a range extending engine, since the drivers will be used to the smoothness of the electric drivetrain, and the smoother the transition from batteries to combustion power, the better.

It's not a new RX-7, but it's nice to see the Wankel still alive and kicking outside of a seatbelt tensioner.

(Thanks, Chuckanut)