Mazda’s next-gen rotary engine development making slow progress

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 20, 2010

Unveiled three years ago, Mazda’s next-generation rotary engine is making very slow progress despite missing emission targets. According to a Mazda powertrain executive, the 1.6-liter rotary engine, called the 16X is with 30 percent fuel-efficient than the current version of the engine which is found in the RX-8 sports car.

Apparently, the 16X is even better than the standard two-liter gasoline engine, according to Mitsuo Hitomi, general manager of Mazda’s powertrain division.

But, the bad news is that due to the problems hitting emissions reduction targets, the engine is at least one model year behind schedule. Still, there are some good news, as the engine might be introduced on the market within two years.

For those who don’t know, the 16X was introduced back in 2007 at the Tokyo Motor Show, featuring an enlarged elliptical shape for the combustion chamber and an enlarged eccentric center stroke in the rotor.

But, after that, the financial crisis came and Mazda decided to give more resources to developing the new line of fuel-efficient SkyActiv engines. Still, Mazda says that dropping the engine is not a good idea, and we agree of course. Said Hitomi: “We will never give up.” [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: mazda, engine, technology

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