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Mazda keeping faith with rotaries

2010-10-22 08:20

ROTAR FORCE: Mazda says it will continue to develop its Renesis rotary engine to guarantee Wankel propulsion is always part of the company’s offering.

Mazda's commitment to its signature rotary engine technology continues.

Although the company’s rotary offering ceased when its RX-8 was discontinued last month, a new rotary will (eventually) find its way into Mazda’s product portfolio.

The next-generation 16X rotary engine, first shown at the Tokyo auto show back in 2007, has proven a more challenging engineering task than initially anticipated and its launch date has vacillated.

Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s engine boss, has confirmed the company aims to have finality regarding the release schedule of the 16X within the next 18 months.
 
Mazda’s focus on its new range of super-efficient SkyActiv engines, an exercise commanding most of the company’s engineering resources, has been blamed for the stalled rotary development programme.

The 1.6l 16X rotary engine has also proven sensitive to emission benchmarks, with engineers struggling to bring the CO2 output within ever tightening regulatory parameters.

Despite this, Mazda’s vouched to ‘never give up’ on its rotary heritage, with the company most likely to launch the 16X rotary engine in its next-generation RX-8. 

In-line with the new SkyActiv engines, Mazda’s aim with the 16X is to reduce consumption by 30% over its current RX-8 rotary without sacrificing performance.

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