Mazda has been the only manufacturer to persevere with rotary engines and their engines have been very powerful, and now durable as well. However, they have always been very thirsty engines. A few years ago I put a rotary engine in a Ford Escort sports sedan and had to increase the size of the fuel tank, the consumption was so extreme.
However, Mazda has reaffirmed its commitment to not only the rotary engine concept, but even to making it somewhat ‘green’ and thrifty.
Mazda Motor Corporation president and CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said, “We consider the rotary engine to be one element of our Zoom-Zoom brand, therefore we’ll continue to develop it. We like to cherish this kind of challenging spirit we’ve shown with the development of the rotary. A (high efficiency) gasoline rotary is on its way.”
Mazda has set an ambitious 50 percent fuel consumption reduction target for its next-generation rotary engine, which will be called the ‘Sky Rotary’ if it meets the same efficiency targets achieved by the company’s thrifty Sky G petrol engines.
Mazda’s new Renesis rotary engine will feature direct fuel injection, a lightweight aluminum side housing and two rotary. Increased from 1.3 liters to 1.6 liters, this larger, more powerful rotary engine will replace the venerable 13B engine.
Mazda has also said that the new rotary engine would be compatible with hydrogen fuel, so perhaps Mazda is putting money on all the horses in the race to the future.