There is one automaker, Mazda, with a special anniversary year arriving soon and the commitment to making the rotary engine work.
Mazda has confirmed they will continue to develop their rotary engine models in order to bring us a special new model to drive and enjoy on the roads and it will do so with the goal of offering it for the 2020 model year to celebrate their centenary anniversary. In order to make this a reality, Mazda has a few challenges they need to overcome.
Facing the Challenges
Over the years, the rotary engine has proven to be one of the least efficient power plants offered, but when it comes to sports cars that’ not as much of a concern as it could be. The concern with the rotary engine is the fact that it can’t meet emissions standards, which would keep it off public roads. This is what Mazda has to fix the most in order to make sure the next version they offer with the rotary engine will be capable of providing the power and performance desired.
The initial focus is to create a more efficient burn in this engine which includes finding solutions for the apex seal wear and the oil consumption. Unfortunately, this still leaves the challenge of meeting the emissions regulations as one of the most difficult troubles of all. Mazda says they cannot improve the rotary engine, as its currently constructed to meet the emissions regulations offered which has the team searching for alternative methods of firing the engine in order to make it possible to use the rotary engine in the next sports car they will offer during the 2020 model year.
As the Mazda team looks to find new ways to make the rotary engine work and meet the emissions regulations requirements they have plans to test laser ignition and plasma ignition to make the burns more efficient. Unfortunately, both of these types of ignition, especially laser ignition, are expensive. The commitment to ensuring this engine is the type of engine used in what should be the next sports car model which will become the RX-9. As we draw ever nearer to the 2020 model year the time grows shorter for Mazda to come up with the engine that’s going to make its way under the hood and be able to offer the performance we expect.
An Early Look
In the next couple of months, we expect to see the new Mazda RX-9 in concept form. The most likely show to see this car will be the Toyota Motor Show which will take place in October. Nothing has been scheduled yet to show us that this car will make its way across the stage during this particular show, but it’s a possibility. Once we see the new RX-9 in concept form, it will be up to Mazda to make sure they can offer us an excellent new sports car to celebrate their 100th anniversary in just a couple of years.