MAZDA CONFIRMS IT’S STILL WORKING ON NEW ROTARY
Since the demise of the RX-8, rumours have been circulating about the next step in the Mazda rotary lineage with not a lot fruiting — until now, that is. Managing executive officer in charge of Technical Research Center and Integrated Control System Development at Mazda Mitsuo Hitomi confirmed in an interview with our counterparts across the ditch that Mazda engineers are, in fact, still working on a new generation. “We’re still continuing development of the next-generation rotary engine,” Hitomi says. “[However we are having trouble improving] the rotary engine to the current conventional engine emissions. We are investigating various kinds of emission systems to ensure ideal conditions.”
Another executive, general manager of Corporate Communications Hidetoshi Kudo, admitted that producing another rotary, “is very important to Mazda”, and revealed that, “[Mazda is] looking at laser ignition and plasma ignition … as you know, flame propagation is an issue in rotary engines. But laser is very expensive”. Major shareholders are not thoroughly convinced by the financial potential the rotary motor has — noting the massive current and future cost of reaching the production phase. Kudo finished off by saying, “it’s Mazda’s centenary in 2020”. So perhaps we can expect something special to mark the occasion? Only time will tell.