Posts Tagged ‘rotary’

Mazda to revive RX-7 in… 2017?

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 6th, 2012

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Mazda RX-7 in silver - front three-quarter studio view

There is a special place in our hearts reserved for the Mazda RX-7. Its screaming rotary engine made the ’80s and ’90s a time of high-revving fun. While Mazda continued the rotary with the four-door RX-8, the two are not the same car, and eventually the latter was phased out.

The Motor Report is the latest outlet to crank up the rumormill over a return to Wankel power and an RX sports car for the troubled Japanese brand. According to TMR, a rotary engine could come back – and so could the RX-7 nameplate – albeit not overnight. The return of the RX-7 is said to be set for 2017, and the source quoted is none other than Mazda sports car boss Nobuhiro Yamamoto.

Speaking with the press at a local launch of the updated MX-5 Miata, Yamamoto said the future RX-7 would have a curb weight close to that of the Toyota GT 86 (about 2,600 pounds), and have a larger emphasis on the driver’s involvement. Yamamoto was also the powertrain chief for the JDM-market FD3S generation (1992-2002 model) and was extremely proud of that engine. Yamamoto reportedly says he would prefer a naturally aspirated version of that engine over any kind of forced induction solution, claiming that the 16X rotary engine that has been developed would be capable of 220kW (295 hp) in that configuration. The 16X was developed in 2007 but has yet to find its way into a production vehicle.

2017 would mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the rotary engine. Frankly, it would be a shame if some form of the quirky and revvy powerplant was not found under the hood of a sports car anywhere in the market.

Mazda to revive RX-7 in… 2017? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Nov 2012 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda tweet confirms next-gen rotory engine with SkyActiv tech

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 12th, 2011

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Renesis Rotary Engine

In the soap opera saga of are they or aren’t they still developing a rotary engine, Mazda seems to have indicated the affirmative. According to a translation of a Tweet from Mazda PR posted on a Japanese car blog, a “new model with a next-generation rotary engine” is in development.

While there’s only so much to be gleaned from a single 140-character message – even in information-dense Japanese – this forthcoming vehicle will incorporate Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv technologies, which is only logical. Being thirsty has long been the Achilles heel of the Wankel, and anything that can help boost mileage and cut emissions should be well-received in a successor to the discontinued RX-8.

Mazda tweet confirms next-gen rotory engine with SkyActiv tech originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda rumored to use laser-ignition for next-gen rotary

Published by admin on August 24th, 2011

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Mazda Kabura Concept

Mazda Kabura Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Autocar is reporting that the next-generation rotary engine from Mazda may turn to a laser ignition system instead of traditional spark plugs. The report supposedly comes straight from the mouth of a shadowy senior engineer within the program. Mazda has been hard at work on the 16X Renesis rotary since around 2007 and the engine has seen quite a few evolutions over the intervening years. Autocar says that the design has seen displacement swell from 1.3 liters to 1.6 liters and that at least some parts of the engine have been designed to be made from aluminum to further reduce weight.

The work is in an effort to get the rotary to be more fuel efficient and provide more torque, the latter not usually being a chief attribute of this type of engine. According to Autocar, using a high-temperature laser ignition system would allow engineers to tune the Wankel to run leaner than systems that use a conventional spark plug. It would also reportedly allow the engine control module to more accurately adjust and monitor timing.

Mazda rumored to use laser-ignition for next-gen rotary originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda still pursuing rotary development

Published by admin on August 23rd, 2011

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Mazda RX-8 engine bay

Fear not, rotaryphiles. According to a report from The Detroit News, Mazda isn’t giving up on the rotary engine anytime soon. Though the RX-8 is headed for the production guillotine, Mazda execs have apparently confirmed that engineers are working on a more efficient and more powerful version of the Wankel. While the project was technically back-burnered during the economic downturn, the research wasn’t canned outright. That means that there’s a chance that the rotary could make a comeback. What would it go into? That’s a little less certain.

We know that the MX-5 Miata isn’t a likely candidate, as Mazda has sworn to keep that vehicle true to its inline roots. A rotary does pair well with an extended-range electric vehicle platform, however, as the high-revving nature is perfect for turning a generator. While that may be a far cry from the low-slung RX-8, it’s at least reassuring to know that the engine design could have a future.

Mazda still pursuing rotary development originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda stops RX-8 production

Published by admin on August 23rd, 2011

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2009 Mazda RX-8

Automotive News is reporting that Mazda has stopped production of its RX-8 sports car due to lackluster sales and ever tighter global emissions standards. Mazda managed to move a mere 1,134 of the models last year, and 2011 hasn’t treated the rotary any better. Sales are down 21 percent through July. The Japanese automaker was forced to remove the model from European showrooms last year after it failed to meet emissions standards, and the company says that it simply can’t justify continuing to manufacture the vehicle without sales in the old country.

According to the report, production wrapped up in Hiroshima, Japan in July, and global sales will finish up this year. Currently, Automotive News says that U.S. dealers have 300 RX-8 units in stock. While this may be the end for the rotary sports car in the near-term, Mazda has made it clear that the manufacturer isn’t giving up on its rotary heritage any time soon.

Mazda stops RX-8 production originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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