Will Mazda actually bring back a rotary powered sports car? These new patent designs sure do look like they have something in mind.
Mazda hasn't made a sports car that isn't the Miata in over 10 years, but that might just change soon, and rotary power might be involved.
Applied for in June of 2021, the patent
was published in the United States just six days ago on Tuesday, May 9. If you've read any of our other coverage surrounding Mazda's mountain
of hybrid sports car patents, you'll know this particular configuration seems to be the one getting a lot of development. In this instance, the two front motors are in-wheel hub motors, although other patents have stated that they will be fixed to the frame and drive the front wheels through more conventional stub axles.
There are a few interesting details worth talking about here related to the hybrid system, and it's important to cover them first because Mazda doesn't talk much about the rotary engine, despite it being a focus of the document. Indeed, it states explicitly that "the engine is a rotary engine and placed in a front part of the vehicle." Outside of that, details like rotor count or other specs are not forthcoming.
Specifications of the hybrid system are clearly stated, as in documents we've covered in the past. In this case, the car uses a mix of 17-kilowatt (23 horsepower) induction motors for the front wheels and one 25kW (36 hp) permanent magnet synchronous motor mounted behind the engine. It's unusual to see a mix of different electric motors like this, but it will at the very least make the car more interesting. Induction motors and PMSM machines deliver torque in slightly different ways, which may be why the 82-hp system mixes and matches them.