Mazda has doused cold water on hopes for a rotary-powered successor to the RX-7 and RX-8.
Speaking to Automotive News in a recent interview, CEO Masamichi Kogai said Mazda will not launch another rotary engine if it will be ‘short lived’ due to fuel efficiency constraints.
“We need it to meet future emissions regulations,” he said. “We are still conducting our R&D activity to overcome any issues we have with emissions and fuel efficiency.”
As the industry faces even tighter emissions regulations in the coming years, Kogai has no doubt that Mazda would debut a rotary-powered range extended hybrid before considering a traditional rotary powertrain in the spirit of the RX coupes. But when asked if Mazda has any plans for a range-extended sports car larger than the MX-5 Miata, Kogai flatly said ‘no.’
The Japanese automaker has kept an engineering team focused on developing rotary engine technology. Further fueling hopes for an RX-9, the company last year unveiled the RX-Vision concept (pictured) and an executive hinted that a production edition could share the Miata’s platform.
The comments are unlikely to completely hush rumors of an RX-9 launch in 2020, aligning with the company’s 100th anniversary.