Mazda has made the startling announcement that they plan on bringing out an all-new and high mpg rotary engine.
This was the last thing we expected to come on the heels of the announcement of the new CAFE standards. Mazda has reported that, although the RX-8 is going away, there is an all-new rotary in the works, and we may be seeing it was early as 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Wankel rotary engine's first appearance in a production automobile (the NSU Ro 80). There is no word what sort of vehicle will get the diminutive power plant, but history suggests a sports car.
Rotary engines have always produced an amazing amount of power considering their small displacement, but the downside has always been poor fuel economy. Mazda's Skyactiv engine technology is among the most important advances in fuel efficiency for gasoline engines, and Mazda says that elements of this technology can be incorporated to make a rotary which is practical for the future. We certainly hope this is true, as it would be a shame to the Wankel killed off.