Mazda has a team of engineers working on a revamped rotary engine, which may find its way into a new sports car.
During the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mazda President Masamichi Kogai told Autocar that the company has engineers working “very enthusiastically” at developing a rotary engine that will meet today’s rigorous fuel economy standards.
The rotary was phased out at Mazda back in 2012 when the RX-8 was cancelled, mainly due to it not meeting tightening emissions regulations. The only way Mazda will offer a rotary engine again is if it can be just as clean and efficient as contemporary gasoline engines.
No timeline was provided for when we can expect this updated rotary engine to be available while the vehicle it would be fitted to is also a mystery. Rumors of a new RX sports car have been circulating for some time, though Kogai would not address them.
The new rotary might not end up in a sports car at all, as back in 2013, Mazda displayed a 2 compact car that used a rotary engine as a range extender for a hybrid system.
If Mazda is looking at a return for the rotary-powered RX-8, bringing it back in 2018 would mark the 40th anniversary of the RX lineup.