Last year, Mazda revealed its RX-Vision Concept, providing the strongest hint yet that the rotary engine would make a return. A report released earlier this year added that a production rotary vehicle would be released in 2020, but a new statement from a Mazda executive suggests rotary fans will have to wait a bit longer.
According to CarAdvice, head of research and development, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, admits that Mazda’s engineers are predictably facing challenges with fuel consumption and emissions. But the prime issue is the actual structure of the rotary engine itself.
Fujiwara-san is unable to clarify the exact issues the research team is facing, but he promises that development of the engine will not simply end.
He also admits that a large number of the issues could be solved by adopting a hybrid-electric system. However, Mazda hopes to avoid this in an attempt to keep the vehicle as traditional as possible. He goes on to add that the use of a battery would also add serious weight.
Upcoming stricter emissions testing is also placing pressure on the project, which is why Fujiwara-san admits that at some stage a hybrid model is inevitable – but only once a pure rotary has been released.
Turbocharging, however, is something that is on the cards, although not much was said on that matter.