If there ain't money to be made, then it's hard to approve a next-gen rotary engine for production.
Ever since Mazda discontinued the RX-8, a rotary-powered model has been lacking from its US lineup. There was no direct replacement for that car, and Mazda executives have remained mum on whether an RX-9 will ever happen. While there has been some development of a next-gen rotary by Mazda engineers, new CEO Masamichi Kogai made it quite clear recently that such an engine would be a hard business case.
“It has to be a viable commercial proposition. If we are going to adopt it, it has to be a product that can generate at least sales of 100,000 units a year. We have to be able to achieve a profit," Kogai stated. Funnily enough, those remarks come not long after Mazda sports car chief Nobuhiro Yamamoto stated that a new RX-7 was in progress, and that it would likely be powered by a rotary fitted with SkyActiv engine technology. So who to believe here? Our money, sadly, is with Kogai. He’s the guy in charge after all. And let’s face it: selling 100,000 RX-7s a year doesn’t sound all that realistic.