For over a decade, Mazda advertised its revolutionary rotary engine with a catchy advertising jingle. As Gildshire recalls, it went something like this:
“Piston engine goes ‘BOING,BOING,BOING’ but the Mazda goes ‘Purr.’ It was a car ad precursor to Sheldon Cooper’s “Soft kitty, warm kitty,” song.
This week, Mazda made the announcement, per The Drive, that the rotary engined sports car is making a comeback. Originally manufactured by Wankel, the disarmingly quiet engine may be powering a hot car as soon as 2020. It will be the next-gen of the beloved Mazda RX-8, and lovers of the “8” can’t wait to see what is on the table.
The key will be the configuration and operation of the rotary engine with respect to emissions standards. Mazda research and development executives confirmed that laser and plasma ignition systems have been considered for use in their next rotary engine. These would both improve power and reduce emissions. As is so often the case, though, the cost is an issue with these high-tech systems. Mazda needs to keep the car affordable, even while embracing mid-21st Century technology.
The revamped rotary engine is just one of the new technologies the carmaker is intending to roll out. Last month, we learned about a twin turbocharged/supercharged setup in development by the carmaker. The supercharger would provide an instant boost. Then the turbochargers take effect and give the less-sustainable supercharger a rest. The Wankel design, with a low compression ratio, would seem a natural fit for the new boost technology.
The Hiroshima-based carmaker expects to shine in the model year 2020. The make’s birth year was 1920. The rotary engine debuted in 1970. What better time than a combined centennial and golden anniversary to bring out some eye-popping stuff?
Car enthusiasts, already enamored of current Mazda styling, look forward to the under-the-hood transformation. We will keep you posted, but color us hopeful. It appears that a generation not yet born within ten years of 1970, may have tapped into the Mazda vibe. So they should. Any carmaker that can create an ad jingle like “BOING, BOING, BOING” and “Purr” must have a history of fun tricks up their sleeve.