Mazda's first plug-in model could enter market around 2020 according to the Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).
Toyota e-Palette Concept
It's not yet known whether it will be all-electric model or electrified, but Masahiro Moro hints at a possible comeback of the rotary engine in the form of a range-extender. The last rotary engine-powered model in the U.S. was RX-8 sports car in 2012.
“Well, (the) rotary engine is our heart-line. I think a rotary engine could be a generator in the near-term to contribute to electrification.”
The advantage of rotary engine is its compact size, but fuel economy and especially emissions have been its downside.
The recently unveiled Toyota e-Palette Concept is another potential vehicle that could receive the REx from Mazda.
“Toyota announced the e-Palette. Mazda is a technical partner. That technical (partnership) means they need our rotary range-extender technology.”