"No plans now," Kogai recently told autonews. "It has to be a viable commercial proposition. If we are going to adopt it, it has to be a product that can generate at least sales of 100,000 units a year. We have to be able to achieve a profit."
Mazda built its last rotary engine on June 22, 2012 - the engine was then killed off together with the RX-8 sports car that was wearing it. However, there have been many rumors of a resurrection meanwhile, some of which were started by the company itself.
Poor emissions results were cited for the cancellation of the Wankel engine. However, the unit would need a bit more than better emissions to come back. Mazda is currently playing by its new Skyactive plan, which sees everything, from platforms to engines, displaying a high degree of efficiency and reliability - not exactly the top assets of the rotary engine.
However, Mazda’s CEO did explain that the company is “continuing research” on the rotary engine. The company isn’t just interested in the image benefits, but would also like to exploit the flexible nature of such a powerplant - the rotary engine can run on multiple types of fuels, from gasoline to hydrogen and even kerosene.