Report – Mazda still not over rotary engine technology image

Mazda rotary engine fans fear not – the Japanese automaker is allegedly still investing in the development and testing of a next generation powertrain assembly, cementing their long running “love affair”.

Mazda and the rotary engine has been a great subject for automotive news gossip over the years – the engine introduced 50 years ago is well known for its smooth operation and power delivery, but the technology has been sitting in limbo for quite some time, since the Japanese company decided to discontinue the RX-8 sports car. Now we have almost official confirmation, considering the gossip comes straight from an interview with Mitsuo Hitomi, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Technical Research Center and Integrated Control System Development at Mazda. “We’re still continuing development of the next generation rotary engine,” he commented during the Mazda Tech Forum in Frankfurt.

Of course, this is a tricky situation – there are numerous problems hindering the development process. “We cannot improve the rotary engine to the current conventional engine emissions. We are investigating various kinds of emission systems to ensure ideal conditions,” he added, and this is a tough one indeed. Another problem would be flame delivery – which is tricky to say the least in this type of engine – and reports talk about expensive ideas such as plasma or laser ignition. There are also investors unconvinced by the potential of the engine – but hopefully we’ll see a product in time for Mazda’s centenary in 2020.

Via Wheels Magazine