Rotary powered Mazda MX-5 possible, RX-8 replacement confirmed

Mazda MX-5 Karai limited edition 06.07.2011
Mazda MX-5 Karai limited edition 06.07.2011

Mazda also says RX-8 successor may be merged with next MX-5 roadster

Mazda has confirmed that there will be a successor to the RX-8 but that the new sports model could be merged with the next MX-5 roadster.

Mazda president and CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi, disclosed that while speaking to a group of journalist at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. He wouldn't confirm whether the new car would have a rotary engine or not but said that Mazda is still considering a new generation of the technology.

Said Yamanouchi:

"Production of the RX-8 does stop in 2012 but what comes after that I'm not in a position to say. But I have been saying everywhere that we will continue research on the rotary engine. We will not extinguish the flame of the rotary engine.

That kind of product is iconic for our brand. So the current MX-5 or RX-8 we have decided in the future to maintain that type of [sports car] product.

I can't say, however, that they will be separate ... they may be merged into one.[We] can't rule out the possibility [of a rotary-powered MX-5]."

But if the rotary engine is to have a future it will need to be improved.

"We need a measure a plan to upgrade the [fuel] efficiency and torque [of the engine] otherwise we don't see much progress [from the current rotary in the RX-8]," continued Yamanouchi.

Another option to keep the rotary engine alive is a range-extender rotary unit powered by hydrogen. Prototypes using the technology are already in use, according to Yamanouchi, where the rotary is used to produce electric power and steam is the only emission.

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Comments (7)

fujiturbo fujiturbo
They should make a Super car, with 3.8 rotary! Someone please do the figures and see how much HP is that?
Dec 3rd, 2011 11:49pm
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madofmazda madofmazda
They gonna make it! The first ever environment friendly sport car. Go for it Mazda!
Dec 1st, 2011 10:45am
1 0
tbrodie tbrodie
How about leaving the Miata with a four cylinder and offering a fixed roof fastback with a rotary? After all, the Miata reintroduced the British roadster, and some of those roadsters had GT versions (Triumph GT6/Spitfire, MGB/MGB-GT, Jaguar E type). Something slotted between the Toyota/Scion GT and the Nissan Z.
Dec 1st, 2011 7:57am
1 0
DeRay DeRay
Its good to hear Mazda admit that they need to improve on the Rotary engine. There was a Mazdaspeed RX-8 that was developed with a supercharged 275hp but it never made it to the market. I hope they make some progress soon because hearing rumors about a new RX-7 or 9 is becoming like the boy who cried wolf.
Nov 30th, 2011 8:34pm
0 0
With words coming out from the lion's mouth, we could be assured (hopefully) that the rotary engine remains a core technology feature in future Mazda RX and MX cars - regardless of merged or separate products.
Nov 30th, 2011 4:36pm
1 0
sensei sensei
Bring on the RX-9.
Nov 30th, 2011 2:22pm
1 0
vilivo vilivo
I love a good Wankel o.O
Nov 30th, 2011 12:48pm
2 0