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Mazda pulled it off: production of two-millionth rotary engine

October 31, 2023

Mazda rotary engine

The Mazda Cosmo Sport (Mazda 110S) – introduced in 1967 – was Mazda’s first rotary engine vehicle. It didn’t stop there. Models such as the RX-7 and RX-8 are also examples of Mazda’s with a wankel engine. In fact, Mazda has been the only automaker to mass produce rotary engine vehicles for many years. The rotary motor is a motor with a unique construction that uses the rotary motion of triangular rotors to generate power. After the RX-8 went out of production, development of the wankel engine never stopped at Mazda. An internal development team was operating in the background.

Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S 1967

Big Mazda boss speaks out

In June 2023, Mazda resumed production of the rotary engine with the arrival of the Mazda MX-30 R-EV. Takeshi Mukai, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer at Mazda, said, “The rotary engine is a special part of Mazda’s history. The rotary engine is much loved by customers around the world and we are delighted to resume production and see that the engine has made a comeback. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who has supported us on this journey. In particular, the many customers who bought cars with a rotary engine, our rotary engine fans and all our business partners who were involved in the development and production.”

Mazda MX-30 REV

Mazda rotary engine timeline

July 1961 Technical cooperation with NSU and Felix Wankel
May 1967 Completion of the rotary engine and launch of the Mazda Cosmo Sport (Mazda 110S)
July 1968 Mazda Familia Rotary Coupe (Mazda R100 Coupe) launch.
October 1969 Mazda Luce Rotary Coupe (Mazda R130 Coupe) launch.
May 1970 Mazda Capella Rotary series (Mazda RX-2) launch.
September 1971 Mazda Savanna (Mazda RX-3) launch. 
November 1972 Launch of second-generation Mazda Luce Rotary series (Mazda RX-4).
June 1973 Production volume of rotary engine vehicles reaches 500,000 units
February 1974 Launch of second-generation Mazda Capella (Mazda RX-2).
April 1974 Mazda Rotary Pickup (REPU) launch in North America.
October 1975 Launch of second-generation Mazda Cosmo AP (Mazda RX-5).
October 1977 Launch of third-generation Mazda Luce (Mazda 929L).
March 1978 Launch of first-generation Mazda Savanna RX-7 (Mazda RX-7).
November 1978 Production volume of rotary engine vehicles reaches 1 million units
November 1981 Launch of third-generation Mazda Cosmo
and fourth-generation Luce Rotary series (Mazda 929)
October 1985 Launch of second-generation Mazda Savanna RX-7 (Mazda RX-7).
April 1986 Production volume of rotary engine vehicles reaches 1.5 million units
September 1986 Launch of fifth-generation Mazda Luce (Mazda 929). 
April 1990 Launch of fourth-generation Mazda Cosmo (Eunos Cosmo), equipped with a three-rotor rotary engine
June 1991 Mazda 787B wins the 59th 24 hours of Le Mans
December 1991 Launch of the third-generation Mazda RX-7  
April 2002 Last limited edition model of the Mazda RX-7, the Spirit R series, is launched
April 2003 Mazda RX-8 launch
November 2011 Latest special edition model of the Mazda RX-8, Spirit R, is launched
June 2012 Termination of production of the Mazda RX-8
June 2023 Start of production of the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV
October 2023 Production volume of rotary engine vehicles reaches 2 million units