2019 Mazda RX-9: Here’s What Trust Issues Look Like

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A lot has been said about the Mazda RX-9, but fans are still unsure whether there will be a rotary engine revival or not. It seems that each promise of its highly anticipated return is typically followed by Mazda saying that it probably won’t happen.

When the automaker filed a patent for a new turbocharged rotary engine design at this point last year, it seemed that huge strides had been made on the RX-9 development behind closed doors.

However, Mazda proceeded to clarify that no work is going into transform the RX-Vision into a production model sports car. At this point, it’s hard to blame fans for having trust issues and abandoning hope of there ever being a proper successor to the RX-7.

This time, two patents have emerged from Mazda involving rotary designs, except that they probably have little to do with the RX-9. One describes what seems like a range-extended EV that’s not unlike the system found in the BMW i3, similar to the Mazda 2 range-extended EV introduced a couple of years ago.

The other patent details a start-and-stop system for rotary blocks that shuts off the engine when it doesn’t need any power, involving the use of its rotor to close off the intake port and prevent any fuel or exhaust emissions from slipping out. The design also uses a spark plug to clear out excess emissions once the fuel has been cut off.

These sound like promising improvements from Mazda, especially given the automaker’s reputation with fuel efficiency. However, it’s also worth noting that the Japanese brand often errs on the side of caution, and may not intend to fully commit to these ideas.