Mazda Confirms The Return of Rotary as Soon as 2019 (But Don't Get Excited Just Yet)

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by GTPNewsWire, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. GTPNewsWire

    GTPNewsWire Contributing Writer

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  2. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    Okay, but the local air polution is less or even non existing when driving completely electric.
     
  3. NJ72

    NJ72

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    But that is a false figure when the production of electricity, production of batteries and disposal of batteries creates so much pollution.

    "It doesn't create pollution near me, so who cares" is not the right attitude to have IMO.

    That said, I drive an RX8 and love the rotary engine, so I am slightly hypocritical on that front.
     
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  4. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    Indeed, and it's a point I've made before, but national and international legislation doesn't care where the CO2 is for cars. EVs are 0g/km and ICE is not, according to the legislators.

    Mazda's point is that the gap is quite small and - much with the incentivisation of diesel - pushing for a technology that's "clean" in very specific terms may have less impact than desired. In countries with a high coal component of the power generation mix, going for an EV may cause more CO2 emissions (200g/km for pure coal) than sticking with petrol.

    This is why Mazda is developing engines like SkyActiv-X. It wants a 55% efficient petrol engine, so that its HEVs are as clean when using the ICE as they are on battery power, no matter where the CO2 goes.
     
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  5. R1600Turbo

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    Isn't this news from over 4 months ago?
     
  6. Skiddy

    Skiddy

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    Pollution is not limited to CO2. There are other byproducts of ICE like toxins, NOX and soot that cause health problems. I think that's what kikie meant in his post.
     
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  7. JacoJa

    JacoJa Premium

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    I agreed with this argument 10 years ago, but these days you cannot ignore the enormous uptake of renewable energy, and how much more efficient (and cheaper) wind and solar has become. Also, Mazda do not seem to take into account the amount of power required to produce the fuel and oil before it even reaches the cars fuel tank.

    Also, EV batteries are mostly recycled and reused for energy storage. There's no reason to chuck the whole car away.
     
  8. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    That's not really relevant to petrol vs. electric. Diesel, sure, but not petrol.
    The petrol vs. electric discussion is exhaust vs. cooling tower. While (Mazda's) petrol cars may produce only 10.9% more CO2 than an electric car, they do it around people - where it's more harmful. Electric cars emissions aren't local, they come out of power stations which, typically, aren't around people.

    There is a decarbonisation of power generation too. The UK, for example, had its first day where renewables produced half of the electricity needed back in June 2017. It's had others since. This brings the emissions of an electric car down, while the petrol car stays the same, no matter how much solar or wind energy we use.

    Mazda's figure of 128g/km is taken as an average from its major markets.

    It does. MX-5 aside, Mazda hardly makes any cars that exceed the 142g/km average figure it gives and those that do (175hp CX-5 diesel, 150hp CX-3 4WD) are barely over that. Its official figures, according to JATO, for 2016 were 127.7g/km.

    The figures are well-to-wheel, and include the (rather small) fraction from fuel extraction and processing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  9. Skiddy

    Skiddy

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    Maybe, but that doesn't make me wanna take a breath from the exhaust pipe of a petrol burning car.
     
  10. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    I don't really want to suck on the chimneys at Drax. I'm not sure what the relevance of either is.
     
  11. Skiddy

    Skiddy

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    Point is, with ICE (other than hydrogen fueled ICE) you do have pollutants that cause health problems (NOx is also present in petrol ICE). With EV when you account the renewable energy sources in the future, fossil fuel burning will be reduced, hopefully eliminated, and with them the smog and NOx.
    With ICE fuel burning is always present and unavoidable.
     
  12. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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  13. citroengt1

    citroengt1

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    What i want to know is, why is the rotary engine still banned by the FIA?
     
  14. Beeblebrox237

    Beeblebrox237 Premium

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    I'm speaking out of total ignorance here, but my guess would be that it's too difficult to try and make the two competitive with each other.
     
  15. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    Fear?
     
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  16. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Show me where it's banned. Give me just one example where rotary engines are specifically precluded.
     
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  17. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Pretty sure it isn't banned anymore, but was for a long time due to pretty understandable reasons some would say.
     
  18. Downhill Dino

    Downhill Dino Premium

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    But it never was banned? :confused: It just didn't fit regulations anymore if we're talking about 1992.
     
  19. kikie

    kikie Premium

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    What I wanted to say is, relevant or not, that an electric car doesn't produce toxic fumes coming out of the the tale pipe.

    I understand and get the point Mazda is making but for people jogging, riding, walking in busy cities or beside busy roads, toxic fumes produced by an ICE car is never good, diesel or petrol. I remember the post you made @Famine about diesel engines producing 3-nitrobenzanthrone which is a potent carcinogen chemical compound. So the local air polution is as important as the CO2 produced by making electric cars, batteries, etc .... .

    An example; every year in Austria on a parking lot at a skiing station, many bus drivers leave their engines running. Every year I have to keep my breath when walking to the skiing station. If I don't, I suffocate (I'm exaggerating but you get my point). That is my point I was trying to make.


    BTW, I don't think electric cars are the future, unless there is a huge technical breakthrough that will revolutionise production and use of electric cars.
     
  20. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Exactly.
     
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  21. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    Technically, electric cars are the past. Its being revisited, with interest from multiple manufacturers and industry.

    I don't have facts to back it up, but with more cars on all roads, Mazda may just want to soften its pollution footprint, in this way.
     
  22. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    I think you're correct if we look into it more...

    I don't think it was ever banned outright in FIA backed series, rather the FIA went to a specific type of regs and it basically pushed out the Rotary (and other engines) because it would never meet those regs. The Rotary though did go back to Le Mans, and it should be noted that LM only until recently was regulated in conjunction to the FIA. Back then it was the ACO only, so even after the 3.5 regs passed by the FIA were established there were still Rotary powered cars at LM. There were issues with the use of Rotary though, like the fact they were smaller and lighter in application, yet able to displace similar amounts, it was hard to balance out those engines to conventional ones for a time. Not that it mattered due to the awful fuel and oil consumption of the engines while at times achieving less power. In fact the legend of the 787B that seems to always spark this talk, has only become grossly exaggerated over the decades. The engine wasn't so world conquering that the FIA banned it or wanted it outlawed, quite the opposite. And just like many victories in LM, the last man standing takes the crown, and the Mazda was just that.

    It was banned for a few reasons in America sport car racing however. http://rotarynews.com/node/view/156
     
  23. SiriusR

    SiriusR

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    Makes me think of this song (profane language warning).
     
  24. citroengt1

    citroengt1

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    I don't know, as far as i remember the documentaries i watched stated that after the Le Mans race, Mazda's Rotary engine was banned due to regulations. I don't know the details, but i cannot find them online either. Yes, i am talking about 1992.
     
  25. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    The only problem with that statement is that Mazda itself ran a rotary engined car at Le Mans in 1994. And 1995. And 1996. And 1997. And Autoexe ran a Mazda rotary in 2002.

    Rotaries weren't banned. The WSC changed the top formula to use 3.5-litre V8/V10/V12 engines in an attempt to relate WSC and F1 - in fact the majority of the cars the 787B beat were already using the 3.5-litre formula.
     
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  26. citroengt1

    citroengt1

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    Okay, then what happened?

    Why didn't Mazda continue racing?
     
  27. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    It did. It bought Jaguar XJR-14 chassis and fitted Mazda-badged Judd 3.5-litre V10s. It called the car "MXR-01" and the lead car of the three it entered finished 4th overall.
     
  28. citroengt1

    citroengt1

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    You are really punctual, aren't you?

    Why didn't Mazda continue racing with the rotary engine?
    Was it just the changes in regulation?
     
  29. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Read my post and read what Famine wrote, it's all there. Your understanding isn't correct, you've been told why and you seem to rinse and repeat the question.
     
  30. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    According to my wife, I often arrive early.
    It did. It brought a rotary RX-7 IMSA GTO to the GTS category in 1994, then returned to the prototype category in 1995 with the rotary Kudzu DG-3. Sadly, that was the year that GT1 emerged - Mazda finished 7th overall, behind four McLaren F1s, and 3rd in class.

    In essence, the 787B lucked into its win, for a few reasons. The FIA wanted to tie together the top prototype events and F1, so it introduced a sports car racing formula in 1989 for 3.5-litre engines, naturally aspirated engines, just like in F1. Exactly like in F1, in fact - the engines were F1 engines. And that was the point: the FIA wanted manufacturers not interested in F1 to make engines for F1.

    1991 was supposed to be the first year of the new 3.5-litre World Sportscar Championship rules (C1), but there weren't many entries. The F1 engines were expensive, and budgets were huge - bigger than F1, in fact. For that event ACO invited a bunch of older Group C cars (C2). The older cars were subject to weight and fuel penalties based on engine capacity, using the old Group C rules, which the "2.6-litre" 787B running at 830kg did quite well out of compared to the 7.4-litre XJR-12 at 1,000kg. The new C1 cars were hideously unreliable, with a 12th place best finish, and the Mazda ahead of them all - with the drivers running to a strict fuel consumption index at the expense of lap times and Mazdaspeed/Oreca focusing on minimising the time lost in the pits with all sorts of schemes (helped by the weight).

    For 1992, the World Sportscar Championship became a 3.5-litre championship. The top cars had to use F1-spec 3.5-litre engines, with V8, V10 and V12 used. The categories retained the C1/C2/C3 names, but Group C was dead. It wasn't the case that rotary engines or Mazda were specifically singled out by any rules, but that the championship became a 3.5-litre formula; even if Mazda could have got in with a non-turbo, 3.5-litre rotary, the unique set of rules from 1991 no longer existed - it would have been hopelessly uncompetitive.

    By 1993, WSC was dead too. The costs proved prohibitive to privateers, and factory teams wanted to spend racing budgets elsewhere. ACO only managed to cobble together a race by inviting a bunch of 1992's cars (C1), pre-3.5 cars (C2), cars from IMSA's new World Sports Car series (C3) and GT cars (C4).

    For 1994, this had become the "LM" classes we know and love, with power-limited 550hp LM-WSC and LM P2 cars, and three new LM GT categories for "road cars". LM-WSC allowed for Group Cs, but they had new weight limits (900kg for NA, 920kg for turbo) and standard fuel tanks; Mazda entered the RX-7 in the LM GTS class instead, and the race was won by the Dauer 962 which was entered in as an LM GT1 car, qualifying as a road car despite being Porsche 962 Group C car.

    The class changes for 1995 reintroduced several limits for the top LM WSC class, with maximum engine capacities (3.0 turbo, 4.0 NA), weight based on engine type and suchlike. That effectively made rotaries viable again in the top class, and Mazda duly obliged.