Maeda: New Mazda RX Must Have Rotary Power

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
maeda new mazda rx must have rotary power

Can you imagine one day visiting a Mazda showroom to buy a new RX-7 and finding anything but a rotary engine under the hood? Neither can global design chief — and RX-8 designer — Ikuo Maeda.

Automotive News reports the designer, whose father gave the world the aforementioned sports car, is hard at work on bringing back the RX line. Though nothing is set in stone, and that the Skyactiv engine “is a wonderful powertrain,” Maeda insists the next RX must live up to its name.

However, engineers are still at a loss as to how to make the rotary engine cleaner to meet today’s more stringent emission guidelines, having been hard at work in the background since the Renesis 16X engine debuted in the back of the Taiki concept in 2007. Mazda itself hasn’t pushed the rotary back into the spotlight since giving the RX-8 the ax in 2012.

Join the conversation
8 of 75 comments
  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Sep 30, 2014

    It's time to re-imagine the RX-7. Mazda has the design and engineering chops to build a 4-cyl, Miata-killer coupe.

    • See 1 previous
    • Bosozoku Bosozoku on Sep 30, 2014

      I can only wonder why it is that Mazda haven't invested more in this theoretically Miata-killer...

  • Boxerman Boxerman on Sep 30, 2014

    Apart from the above combustion issues I have heard that the rotary while compact is chevy V8 heavy. It certainly drinks liek a V8. For a copmpact motor mazda could doa turbo flat 4, or even a v4 to be different. Take the miata platform, make a far more soopy shaped coupe with 300hp and you have a giant killer. Maybe some electric assist rotary migth work, vbut then you are talking mass and $$$. To me a RX is asmall light car, it does not have to be rotary. What a rotary did was offer a level of refinement and revability 4cls lacked. Surely those same characteristics can be done ina piston motor today. The the new Mata is 2250lbs, what woult a 2500lbs 300hp car be like, I sure woudl like to know.

    • See 1 previous
    • Notapreppie Notapreppie on Sep 30, 2014

      @psarhjinian What about a VR-4? Like VW's VR-6 engines. Single cylinder head, compact, etc.

  • Wstarvingteacher Wstarvingteacher on Oct 01, 2014

    Remembering back to the day when you had a choice of a bunch of engines in Chevelles, Camaros, Mustangs, Barracudas etc, I see no reason for Mazda to limit the choices of engines to one. The RX8 was really nice looking but I didn't want another Rotary. They do not age particularly well IMO. An RX8 with a small V6 is something I would find appealing. I guess the name would have to change if it isn't rotary. If it could be had with a 4 and a rotary as well that wouldn't bother me a bit. YMMV

  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Oct 01, 2014

    Why in the heck is the comment system here deleting my comments about a rotary engine as spam??!