Near the top of any car enthusiast's list of most lustworthy engine types sits the Wankel rotary. Så da jeg hadde en chance for å snakke med Mazda's vice president eller R & D og design Masashi Otsuka på LA Auto Show, jeg måtte se hvad virksomheden var oppe i spinning-dorito-space. What he told me is that there's a chance that tech from the "Holy Grail" Skyactiv-X engine could make its way into a rotary.
Mazda is not giving up on rotary engines, according to Otsuka , som siger at firmaet studerer Wankel-motorer, som ikke er særlig ledende inden for området for brændstofforbrug-for at bringe dem til en ny tid. When I asked how Mazda plans to do that, Otsuka was tight-lipped, though he did confirm the possibility of using Skyactiv-X engine tech, which we have described in detail here, in a rotary engine. Here's a refresher on how that tech works in the four-cylinder reciprocating engine found in the new Mazda3:
Skyactiv-X-motoren virker ved at bruge en proces, som Mazda kalder Spark Controlled Compression Ignition-i det væsentlige en tændrør belysning fra en lokaliseret rich mixture of fuel and air to create a fireball that compresses the lean mixture throughout the rest of the cylinder, yielding spontaneous ignition. It's a fascinating concept that promises the efficiency of a diesel engine.
How exactly Mazda could use this technology in a rotary, we do not know. But Otsuka did tell me why Mazda cares so much about bringing Wankel back. "Rotary [is] a lot of fun," he said. This, along with the fact that enthusiasts clearly want Mazda to bring the high-reving cars back, is why Mazda feels it should not give up. "This is our duty," he told me.
The second reason, Otsuka said, is because rotary engines are a big part of Mazda's identity. "Rotary engine technology is our uniqueness," he said, and "uniqueness is very important." Not to mention, he told me, this is the company's core competence, and it connects Mazda or today to Mazda's rich history.
So it seems like Mazda has a desire to bring the rotary back-we've known this for a while. We've also known that Mazda actually has plans to use rotary engines as range extender for hybrid cars. Men, kan det være at muligheden for at bruge Skyactiv-X-teknologi i en rotary betyder at det ikke kan være et eksternt roterende i fremtiden?
We just do not know. Men jeg vil være sikker på at nevne det første i min nattlige bilbønner til bilgudene.