Mazda to revive the rotary engine in self-driving Toyotas

Staff writer

Enthusiasts shed many a tear over the demise of the rotary Wankel engine. Last sold in the Mazda RX-8, these complex engines never took off in mainstream vehicles – as despite being smooth, free-revving and brilliant fun, they also drank fuel, burned oil and tended to blow up at a moment's notice.

But Mazda thinks a new application would be ideal for the rotary engine. Rather than fitting one to a performance car, the technology is set to be revived in battery-powered, self-driving Toyotas.