Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Friday December 19, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > News & Rumors > Non-Subaru News & Rumors

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-08-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Has Mazda Rotary Reached End of Road?

Quote:
VANCOUVER, BC – After 44 years, the future of the rotary engine at Mazda, the last mass-market auto maker to produce the piston-less mill, is cast in doubt.

The engine has been offered on the Mazda RX-8 since its introduction for the ’04 model year. But the sports car is being discontinued following the ’11 model year.

Several reports suggest research on a next-generation rotary is ongoing, with a new version to debut in coming years, perhaps as early as 2017.
However, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda executive officer-product planning and powertrain development, says there is “huge discussion” within the Hiroshima, Japan-based company whether to continue on with a rotary engine.

Fujiwara says economic hardship has some top brass looking for programs to cut, and that the engine program is on the list.

Continuing development of the rotary has been halted for now, but he hopes it will resume in the future, noting the technology is a part of Mazda’s DNA.

“I’ve always said rotary engines literally are part of our soul,” Fujiwara tells Ward’s at a media event here. “We have to continue the rotary-engine evolution.”

Apart from budgetary reasons, rotary engines also pose technical disadvantages in light of increasingly strict fuel-economy and emissions standards. They are less fuel-efficient than their traditional counterparts and don’t burn as cleanly.



Mazda rotary still offered in RX-8 sports car. They also have been known for their durability problems and burn oil quickly.

Unlike traditional engines, rotaries lack pistons, instead using a triangular rotor that spins in a circular housing. As it spins, openings around the housing are used for the intake, compression, combustion and exhaust cycles.

The setup involves fewer moving parts than conventional piston engines and allows for greater power density, smoothness and high-rpm operation.
Because of these attributes, Mazda continued development of the rotary while other auto makers abandoned it, claiming the engine fit the brand’s “zoom-zoom” performance heritage and made it unique in the industry.
Fujiwara says there are three fundamental problems with the current rotary engine. He declines to describe the issues but says two of them have been overcome.

Ironically, the rotary engine’s fate may rest in the hands of Mazda’s forthcoming Skyactiv powertrain technology, which includes a line of efficient gas and diesel engines, as well as new transmissions and architectures.

If Skyactiv is profitable, “We get money to invest in (the) rotary engine,” Fujiwara says.

The first Skyactiv technology, a 2.0L gas engine, is set to debut this October in the Mazda3 C-car. Plans call for the technology to migrate to all Mazda vehicles as they are refreshed, the auto maker says.

But even if rotary engines never again directly drive the wheels of a Mazda vehicle, they may prove beneficial should the auto maker develop an extended-range electric vehicle akin to the Chevrolet Volt.

The Volt uses a small 1.4L gas engine to generate electricity to drive the electric powertrain. A rotary engine creates less vibration than a piston engine and achieves optimal performance when running at a steady speed, making it an ideal fit for an EREV, says Robert Davis, senior vice president of Mazda’s U.S. operations.

“If you’re able to build a rotary that’s tuned to a very specific load and rpm, they’re very efficient,” Davis tells Ward’s. “Certainly, we’ve looked at those possibilities.”

Audi and supplier AVL Powertrain Engineering already are exploring the possibility of putting a rotary engine in an EREV.

AVL last year told Ward’s rotary engines offer a packaging advantage over conventional piston engines in such applications.

“The nice thing about piston engines is everybody has them, but piston engines are too large,” said Gary Hunter, chief technologist-diesel engines.
http://wardsauto.com/ar/mazda_rotary_road_110805/
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
arghx7
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 232940
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: cold
Default

And this is how internet rumor mills go. Another source from a few days ago has a somewhat more optimistic take http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011...rotary-engine/

The rotary engine needs a lot of time, money, and manpower to make up for the shoestring development budget Mazda has given it for the past 20 years. The original 13B engine geometry was introduced in 1974 and there has not been a complete redesign since then. The 16X prototype is moving in that direction, but Mazda won't spend the money on it because they can't realistically put it in anything but a sports car.
arghx7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2011, 04:54 PM   #3
justincredible
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 83633
Join Date: Mar 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: The Mountains
Vehicle:
2012 bright green
box

Default

The rotary engine was a fun experiment that just never worked well enough to be a true contender.
justincredible is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 12:17 AM   #4
HipToBeSquare
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 119958
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: (IA) flyover cornfield country
Vehicle:
1992 SVX LS-L

Default

This is sad.

It isn't about a rotary not working, it is about it not meeting ever more over-regulatory emissions standards, all the way from 900-9000+rpms, and at high-load at low RPMs.

The next evolution for rotary power should be steady-state power generation. A rotary can be very efficient at high-rpms at constant load.

Ask pilots of small planes with steady-state high horsepower per lb, and per cubic foot of space. Rotaries excel as horsepower machines, more than inherent torque. And in their strong-suit, are actually more suited for constant high duty cycles than car piston engines at constant high load. Most cars only use high engine loads for short intermittent bursts, and the engine construction reflects that.

Generate electricity, and let an electric traction motor handle the ground-speed, up to cruising speeds. (mechanical drive at 1:1, or over-drive ratios is more efficient than electric motors at constant high speed and high current draw.)

This has a lot of quite compelling information on rotaries, especially for small aircraft use, which is similar to high, steady demand characteristics of an on-board generator. http://www.rotaryeng.net/
HipToBeSquare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 02:29 AM   #5
Ysidro
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 197418
Join Date: Dec 2008
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: New England
Vehicle:
07 WRX Ltd
The Mighty Evo;Fun CRZ

Default

Well,if they can put it on a car becaues of strict emissions, maybe they can put it on a boat or a snow blower. blow that snow nice and smooth!
Ysidro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 03:35 AM   #6
Predwolf
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 54292
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Maple Ridge
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
And this is how internet rumor mills go. Another source from a few days ago has a somewhat more optimistic take http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011...rotary-engine/

The rotary engine needs a lot of time, money, and manpower to make up for the shoestring development budget Mazda has given it for the past 20 years. The original 13B engine geometry was introduced in 1974 and there has not been a complete redesign since then. The 16X prototype is moving in that direction, but Mazda won't spend the money on it because they can't realistically put it in anything but a sports car.
Basically this.

And as much as the rotary gets made fun of on internet forums, I've personally seen two 300,000km N/A 13B rotaries on all stock parts, still ticking. The main thing that started the whole "unreliable" internet rumors, was when incompetent owners would boost up the FD to stupid levels of power, and neglect basic maintenance. Then, when it lost a seal, they would bitch about it for years on end.

Oh, and carbon build up was another one, from people who would putt around town never breaking 3k RPM.

I still toss the idea of getting a JDM Rx7 or possibly an Rx-8 as my next vehicle.
Predwolf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 08:12 AM   #7
Skunkers
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 115480
Join Date: May 2006
Location: St. Pete, FL
Vehicle:
2002 RSX-S
Desert Silver

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Predwolf View Post
Basically this.

And as much as the rotary gets made fun of on internet forums, I've personally seen two 300,000km N/A 13B rotaries on all stock parts, still ticking. The main thing that started the whole "unreliable" internet rumors, was when incompetent owners would boost up the FD to stupid levels of power, and neglect basic maintenance. Then, when it lost a seal, they would bitch about it for years on end.

Oh, and carbon build up was another one, from people who would putt around town never breaking 3k RPM.

I still toss the idea of getting a JDM Rx7 or possibly an Rx-8 as my next vehicle.
This x100000000

N/A rotaries were never the problem. And as such the RX-8 gained a totally unfair stigma from the FD.
Skunkers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 09:01 AM   #8
max_stirling
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 44010
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Springfield, VA
Vehicle:
2004 Cayenne Turbo
Black

Default

I'm a former owner of a lightly modified FD for almost 5 yrs and I never had an engine failure. I do agree with PredWolf's general comments (there are always exceptions), but the real problem with rotaries was not reliability, but torque and fuel economy. I really like the looks of the RX-8, the relatively roomy rear seats (for a coupe), and the cool rear doors, but the fuel economy penalty without the power reward could not be justified for my 20K miles/yr commute.

I do believe that the rotary could see new life in range extending electric cars. It's small size and simple, reliable, smooth design would mate perfectly with electric hybrids.
max_stirling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
justincredible
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 83633
Join Date: Mar 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: The Mountains
Vehicle:
2012 bright green
box

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Predwolf View Post
Basically this.

And as much as the rotary gets made fun of on internet forums, I've personally seen two 300,000km N/A 13B rotaries on all stock parts, still ticking. The main thing that started the whole "unreliable" internet rumors, was when incompetent owners would boost up the FD to stupid levels of power, and neglect basic maintenance. Then, when it lost a seal, they would bitch about it for years on end.

Oh, and carbon build up was another one, from people who would putt around town never breaking 3k RPM.

I still toss the idea of getting a JDM Rx7 or possibly an Rx-8 as my next vehicle.
Nah, the biggest issue was the cluster **** of hoses for the sequential twin turbo setup, then people not reving it enough, then lack of maintenance because they thought it was the same as a piston engine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
N/A rotaries were never the problem. And as such the RX-8 gained a totally unfair stigma from the FD.
I agree to that, but the RX-8's biggest problem was 18mpg while making only 200hp or so.
justincredible is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 12:46 PM   #10
elirentz
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 70082
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: charleston, sc
Vehicle:
2005 sti, 02 s2000
88 944 beater

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
N/A rotaries were never the problem. And as such the RX-8 gained a totally unfair stigma from the FD.
While I am a rotary lover, and owner, this isn't entirely true the early rx8 13b's 03-04 were problematic. Trust me I know from personal experience ...Lets just say I am going to pick the car up with a new motor today
Yeah many of the 13b failures are from owners who dont understand the quirks of the rotary but there are also many out there who have had failures despite having maintained it correctly.

Last edited by elirentz; 08-09-2011 at 03:09 PM.
elirentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #11
Skunkers
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 115480
Join Date: May 2006
Location: St. Pete, FL
Vehicle:
2002 RSX-S
Desert Silver

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
I agree to that, but the RX-8's biggest problem was 18mpg while making only 200hp or so.
True. If I lived in the mountains somewhere though, I would totally pay the price. Little point here in Florida though, unfortunately.
Skunkers is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #12
design1stcode2nd
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 112178
Join Date: Apr 2006
Default

One of the reason's I sold mine, when your commute is basically straight and that is the majority of the driving you do there is little call for a car that only really shines in the corners.
design1stcode2nd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 12:26 PM   #13
elirentz
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 70082
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: charleston, sc
Vehicle:
2005 sti, 02 s2000
88 944 beater

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post
One of the reason's I sold mine, when your commute is basically straight and that is the majority of the driving you do there is little call for a car that only really shines in the corners.
Yeah I agree. Precisely why I am going to start looking to trade mine for something a little more efficient and still fun...like an s2000.
elirentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2011, 11:25 AM   #14
arghx7
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 232940
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: cold
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by max_stirling View Post
I'm a former owner of a lightly modified FD for almost 5 yrs and I never had an engine failure. I do agree with PredWolf's general comments (there are always exceptions), but the real problem with rotaries was not reliability, but torque and fuel economy.
On the Rx-7's, the torque and fuel economy are not bad compared to other engines from the late 80s and early 90s. 255 horsepower in 2800lb car in 1992 was a lot of power, and then later it was 280 horsepower. 15-16mpg in the city and low 20s on the highway was a little worse than what you would realistically get in an LT1 Camaro. It's not great but compared to other performance cars of the day, it was certainly acceptable in an era of relatively cheap gas.

And that's where the whole development budget thing matters, because after the 3rd gen Rx-7 the development couldn't keep up. Yes, Mazda improved the specific fuel consumption with the Renesis but then with they added weight and made the gearing shorter on the vehicle itself, so the final mpg number was still bad. And they really dropped the ball on the oiling system for the early Rx-8's which killed any chance of repairing the image regarding reliability.

It's sad really. I've owned rotaries since 2004... the problem isn't the rotary, it's Mazda. If the rotary as a non-hybrid engine really is dead, then these final Rx-8's will be worth money some day--possibly more than any Rx-7 ever will be worth.
arghx7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
Ryguy32789
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 214559
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chicagoland
Vehicle:
2005 WRX
OBP

Default

Obligatory



Quote:
Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
If the rotary as a non-hybrid engine really is dead, then these final Rx-8's will be worth money some day--possibly more than any Rx-7 ever will be worth.
No way the ugly ass RX8 will ever be worth more than the gorgeous FD RX7.

Last edited by Ryguy32789; 08-11-2011 at 12:52 PM.
Ryguy32789 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2011, 03:17 PM   #16
heavyD
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 194216
Join Date: Nov 2008
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Vehicle:
2013 STI Sport-tech

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryguy32789 View Post
Obligatory





No way the ugly ass RX8 will ever be worth more than the gorgeous FD RX7.
Yeah the FD RX7 is an all-time classic and the RX8 will be quickly forgotten. I think the rotary engine is a waste of time but if I could have one car out of the 90's it would be the FD for it's stunning looks and purity.
heavyD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mazda Envisions Rotary Sports Car of the Future - With Audi? AVANTI R5 Non-Subaru News & Rumors 48 06-17-2011 01:59 PM
AccessPORT Version 1 Reaches End of Life Cobb Tuning AccessPort 0 09-04-2009 08:10 PM
Mazda Begins Commercial Leasing of World's First Hybrid Rotary Hydrogen Vehicle AVANTI R5 Non-Subaru News & Rumors 2 03-25-2009 05:16 PM
Have you reached the end of the internet? HamFist Off-Topic 21 12-07-2005 03:07 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.