Mazda Testing Hydrogen-Hybrid Premacy
Toyota's dominance in hybrid technology has other OEM's straining to leapfrog on to The Next Big Thing. While GM tries to beat ToMoCo to the PHEV punch, Mazda decided to combine three imperfect technologies into one over-the-top rolling lab. By modifying a Wankel rotary engine to run on hydrogen, and then adding a hybrid system, Mazda's Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid wins the prize for the most complicated possible approach to high-efficiency motoring. But let's not condemn this franken-hybrid to the scrap heap of engineering excess just yet. Wards Auto has learned that the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport has given the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid permission to undergo testing on Japanese roads. Of the three systems, hybrid technology is clearly the most promising. But Mazda's blind technophilia has mated it to an immature fuel source and an inherently inefficient ICE. Who cares that it gets 124 miles from a tank of hydrogen and boosts power 40 percent over a "standard" hydrogen Wankel. Mazda plans on leasing these people-movers in Japan later this year. Here's hoping that the lease comes with an uncompromising warranty.
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