LA 2011: Mazda's Wankel Rotary Engine Still Viable

2011 LA Auto Show

It’s Alive! Mazda’s Wankel rotary engine is alive!!!

Mazda's future will indeed include the Wankel rotary engine, according to company chief Takashi Yamanouchi. During the president's keynote speech at the Japanese car company's showing, he said "I'm very attached to the rotary engine. So long as I am president then research and development in this area will continue." You may recall Mazda 'pulling the plug,' so to speak, on the RX-8. The sports car used the Wankel rotary well, however it was a bit dirty and inefficient.

They are currently working on a totally new version of the much-adored rotary motor, developing it so that it will be cleaner and meet the new European emissions standards. Yamanouchi stayed away from mentioning any exact details, however we could see the Wankel rotary make its comeback as a hybrid. We do know that in order to keep up with 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engines that are popping up everywhere nowadays, it will need to put out at least 300hp or more and have much lower emissions. In any case, we are just excited to hear that it hasn't already gone to the dustbin with the RX-8.

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