The 2015 Mazda2 will feature a Wankel rotary engine, just not in the way you think

When the Mazda RX-8 was phased out in 2011, it meant the end of Wankel rotary engine, at least temporarily. Consequentially, auto enthusiasts made a collective sad face. We loved the high-revving, oil-burning, low displacement thrills that came with Mazda’s spinning triangle, but the Wankel isn’t dead yet.

According to a report by Motoring, the 2015 Mazda2 will receive a plug-in hybrid variant that features a small Wankel as a gas-powered range extender.

Rotary fans have the 2013 Mazda2 RE prototype to thank, as the electric car was retrofitted with a .330-liter rotary range extender in 2013. The 220-pound Wankel was fastened under the rear of the RE, and fed power directly to the lithium-ion battery pack. Because it was mounted on its side, it nearly eliminated vertical vibration.

This made the engine much quieter, so it didn’t disrupt the stealthy driving characteristics of the electric vehicle.

The addition of the Wankel, which sipped from a 2.3-gallon fuel tank, nearly doubled the range of the Mazda2 RE to 236 miles. The next generation Mazda2, which is known as the Demio overseas, looks to be a continuation of that concept. The standard Mazda 2 will feature a SKYACTIV-D 1.5-liter diesel that develops 103 horsepower.

The Mazda2 will likely draw styling cues from the Hazumi Concept that debuted at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The supermini hatchback embodied the same “Kodo” design philosophy that underpins the Mazda3, Mazda6, and CX-5, but it’s been downsized to emphasize fuel economy and affordability.

Kodo sees a car as a living, breathing work of art rather than a mass of independent components. Its tagline, “Kodo: Soul of Motion,” accentuates that philosophy. We hope to see the emotive Kodo designs from the Hazumi Concept featured on the production Mazda2 when it’s released in the coming months.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Emerging Tech

Will we ever fly supersonic again? Unraveling the concorde’s complex legacy

In a new book, Last Days of the Concorde, journalist and author Samme Chittum delves into the mindset that inspired engineers to design this marvel, the series of events that led to its fatal crash, and the possibility that commercial SSTs…
Product Review

The Kasa Cam Outdoor delivers smart security monitoring at a great price

While it may lack the sexier features of Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, the weatherproof TP-Link Kasa Cam makes home security easy, with full-HD video streaming at a great price

2019 Chevrolet Silverado gets serious about MPG with new four-cylinder engine

In an aggressive bid to improve fuel economy, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be offered with a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Chevy claims comparable performance to other Detroit automakers' V6 trucks.

Ford hatches a software update to fix a fiery problem with its GT supercar

Ford warns 200 examples of the GT supercar built between December 2016 and July 2018 can catch fire if hydraulic fluid leaks from the rear wing onto the hot exhaust. It will fix the problem with a software update.

Watch this driverless Range Rover tackle one of U.K.’s ‘most challenging roads’

Jaguar Land Rover just sent its autonomous Range Rover Sport vehicle onto one of the U.K.'s "most challenging road layouts," and the automaker has posted a video online showing exactly how it fared.

Can't see in front of you? Here's how to change your windshield wipers

If you can't see out of the front of your car, it's time for a new set of wiper blades. Thankfully, changing your car's windshield wipers is quick and painless if you know what you're doing. Here's what you need to know.

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.

The supersized BMW X7 is coming with a grille you can park a 2 Series on

BMW will soon expand its lineup with a new range-topping SUV named the X7. The first-ever BMW X7 is shaping up to be the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image.

Can't see all of a sudden? Our quick guide on defogging your car windows

Did you suddenly lose exterior visibility while driving because of foggy windows? Don't panic! Here's our quick guide on defogging your car windows in a safe manner while on the go, and a few steps on how to prevent them.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.