A new report seems to confirm our suspicions that a new concept will reintroduce the famed rotary engine to the Mazda brand. According to Autocar, Mazda’s Tokyo-bound concept sports car will feature a new generation of rotary engine with fuel-efficient technology.
Speaking with Mazda R&D boss Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Autocar reports the new model will disprove the notion that rotary engines can’t deliver on fuel economy. “Some time in the future, it will return and be called SkyActiv-R,” he said about the brand’s future rotary engine.
The sports car concept will feature a two-door, two-seat design, and as we saw from a teaser image released last month, it also sports a fastback roofline. As a preview for the new concept, Mazda hinted that it “maintains a sense of linage and authenticity, appearing almost to condense Mazda’s entire history of sports car development into a single model.”
Earlier, we reported that Mazda was preparing a new rotary-powered sports car expected to arrive as a successor to the RX lineup. Reports said it would be based on an extended and reinforced variant of the fourth-generation Mazda Miata chassis. It’s unclear when a Mazda rotary engine may return for production, but it could be as early as the next few years.
Right now, Mazda has a dedicated team of engineers focusing on the development of rotary engines. But to be successful with a new rotary-powered model, engineers will have to work through plenty of potential challenges.
“Rotary engines have lots of issues, and we need to solve each of them.It’s not just emissions, it’s performance as well, and making it easy to maintain,” Mazda president and CEO Masamichi Kogai told Autocar. “A rotary engine is a difficult engine to solve all these problems.”
Mazda’s new sports car concept will debut at the Tokyo motor show, which begins October 29.