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Mazda SkyActiv-R rotary patent application found, details interesting new layout

April 4, 2016

A patent application has be found in the USA detailing a new rotary engine configuration submitted by Mazda. This could give us some insight into the next-gen Wankel sports car.

Mazda rotary 2016 patent-side view

Dubbed SkyActiv-R technology, the patent shows a strange new layout for the niche engine style. Documents and diagrams were submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office late last year, with a published date of March 24, detailing the potential new layout.

Perhaps the most unique element to the design is the way the engine is rotated 180 degrees, leaving the intake and exhaust manifolds on the top and bottom of the engine, as opposed to the more conventional layout which sees them placed on either side.

With the exhaust outlet on top of the engine, engineers have been able to mount the turbocharger closer to combustion. This, typically, results in a quicker buildup of boost pressure, helping with performance and response.

Towards the bottom of the engine is the intake, which features innovative passages for air to flow. The result is said to be a forced-induction effect caused by inertia. This could also help turbo boost reach combustion more efficiently and more quickly.

Of course, one of the main benefits of the rotary engine is its compact dimensions. Engineers are able to mount the engine low down to help keep the vehicle’s overall centre-of-gravity as low as possible. These patent images seem to carry on the compact philosophy.

As for production? Mazda is keeping pretty quiet about its future rotary plans. Engineers have confirmed they are working on developing new rotary possibilities, but nothing has been officially locked in for the future just yet.

Mazda did reveal the RX-VISION concept (below) last year, giving us a potential look into its future sports car design. It was just a concept and it is yet to be confirmed for production, but if there ever is a new rotary sports car on the horizon the concept would be the first point of inspiration in terms of design.



Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

  • Probably one of the best engines to use in a Parallel Hybrid, as well as a Serial Hybrid, and even as a Serial – Parallel Hybrid Drive Train! Excellent Power to Weight Ratio, actually very efficient under light and steady loads, and very smooth! Only thing smoother is Pure Electric Drive!

    I loved my 1983 RX7 GSL with an Arkay Aftermarket Turbo! Red-lined in all 5 gears, but could also get me 30 Mpg cruising at 55 on Cruise Control!