Will it power an RX-8 successor?
A few years ago, Volvo created a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that made 450 hp with the help of two conventional turbochargers and one electric turbo. It hasn’t yet gone into production, but it’s still a pretty cool concept. But based on patent applications published yesterday, it looks like Mazda’s in the middle of developing something similar.
The patent applications, which were filed this week, appear to depict an engine equipped with two turbochargers and an electric supercharger. Based on the description, it follows the same basic concept as the earlier Volvo engine. The electric supercharger builds pressure early to eliminate turbo lag, with the turbochargers kicking in later and providing more top end power.
But the most interesting thing about this new engine may be that it’s clearly meant for a rear-wheel-drive car. It could theoretically be used in the Miata, but it seems a little too complicated and potentially too powerful for the Miata. What would make more sense would be for Mazda to use it in another more-powerful sports car that has yet to be announced, like an RX-8 successor without the rotary engine. It could also theoretically find its way into a range-topping rear-wheel-drive SUV.
Of course, it’s also just as likely that this technology never makes it to production. Even if it does, Mazda may end up licensing its use to other automakers instead of adding a triple-charged RX-9 to its lineup. Whatever Mazda ends up doing with this engine, we hope it ends up being as cool as the idea of a triple-charged engine sounds.