Mazda Working On New Rotary Engine With Skyactiv Tech?

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On, off, on, off--it's not a light switch, it's Mazda's program for its next rotary engine. While speaking about commitment to the history and soul of the company out of one side of its mouth, the company continues to back-burner the rebirth of the rotary with the other. A new tweet from Mazda's Japanese PR does little to solve the matter.

As noted by Autoblog, the tweet is a naturally spartan form of communication, even in Japanese. But our favorite machine translators tell us that it's not so much the character count as it is the official stance that's limiting the content about the next rotary.

The tweet starts with a thank-you to fans of the RX-8 and the rotary, and goes on to say that Mazda is "zealously developing" the next generation of the rotary engine--with the benefit of its Skyactiv fuel/emissions technology, closing with another thanks for the continued support.

What does that mean? As near as we can interpret, that means: 1) don't hold your breath--even if it does come, it's still in raw developmental stages; 2) the rotary is being hamstrung by its inherently poor fuel economy and emissions; and 3) if you're a rotary fan, Mazda thanks you. A lot.
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Comments (3)
  1. dont Mazda own Wankel? if so they have the Raotary market tapped and will work in house to release a new engine. Even if made in short supply the engines will be a wanted commodity by the after market tuners due to their high output from a such a small sized block.

  2. Mazda doesn't own the Wankel design. There is no significant "Rotary market", as shown by previous sales figures of both vehicles and OEM replacement parts. The costs associated with designing and developing a new engine will never be recouped if Mazda relies on the aftermarket tuners as buyers, unless the aftermarket is content paying over $40k for each long block. And lastly, rotary engines are only a good option if engine size is an issue (it isn't, nowadays). Otherwise, they are inherently worse than a reciprocating engine in almost every technical way possible, save for smoothness.

  3. Audi owns the patents for the Wankel and have said they are considering using them as part of the range extender system on future electric vehicles.

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