Mazda is developing a new electric car for 2019 with the possibility to return the rotary engine as a range extender unit. They plan to introduce electric drive tech to its cars around the world.
Auto Express exclusively revealed that the Japanese brand is targeting a launch date of 2019 for their new electric vehicle. The vehicle will supposedly use Mazda’s latest design language, set out by the new CX-5 and RX Vision concept. Mazda’s R&D chief Matsuhiro Tanaka spoke with Auto Express at the recent Geneva Motor Show and revealed that a fully electric car is one of the possibilities that Mazda is examining. He also said that it will quite possibly be a small compact electric vehicle because bigger cars get too heavy with bigger batteries. Tanaka also revealed that from 2021, Mazda will expand their range of electrified vehicles with a line-up of plug-in hybrid models.
They’ve already introduced a hybrid Mazda 3 in Japan, so they have the technology. The car uses tech from Toyota, but future hybrids from the brand are likely to come. On top of that, it is possible that Mazda will use a rotary engine in a range-extending capacity, providing power to charge the battery. There is Mazda 2 vehicle that already uses a rotary powertrain, and recent reports suggest that the brand has patented similar technology in the US.
As reported by Car Scoops, Tanaka didn’t go into details about the size of their full electric vehicle. However, the electrified Mazda is expected to slide between the sub-compact and compact segments, which means it could compete with cars such as the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Bolt.
About the rotary powerplant, Tanaka said that something like that was already in existence, and the performance and economy are possible with it. On top of that, the rotary is very stable and quiet at standard revolutions. However, he did not go much into details about the powerplant.