Mazda's boss Takashi Yamanouchi has reiterated his company’s commitment to rotary engine technology
16 November 2011

Mazda’s boss Takashi Yamanouchi has reiterated his company’s commitment to rotary engine technology.

Speaking during his keynote speech at the start of the Los Angeles motor show today, Yamanouchi confirmed: “I’m very attached to the rotary engine. So long as I am president then research and development in this area will continue.”

Mazda has remained a champion of the rotary engine, despite having to overcome major issues such as fuel economy, weight, torque delivery and increasingly stringent emissions laws.

The Mazda RX-8 was withdrawn from Europe because its twin-rotor engine could not meet Euro 5 emissions regulations, and meeting Euro 6 laws is a big challenge for the company’s rotary engine R&D team.

Mazda wants to reduce the weight of all its cars by 100kg within five years, and another big test is to reduce the weight of the rotary powerplant while improving the other variables.

In 2007 – 40 years after it first introduced its innovative new power source to the industry – the Japanese car firm started work on the next-generation 16X Renesis unit.

Yamanouchi also admitted he dreams of taking Mazda back into motorsport, specifically the Le Mans 24 Hours, which he feels could be a shop window for the company’s new SkyActiv technology.

“I’m not saying we will participate in Le Mans, but most people know that the companies that win use diesel, and our SkyActiv technology is very efficient and gives strong torque,” he said.

“Unfortunately right now the Yen situation is putting huge pressure on profitability, but once the Yen improves or the situation is overcome then we will give a desire to return more actively to motorsport.”

Mazda scored a momentous triumph with the rotary-powered 787B prototype in 1991.

See all the latest Mazda reviews, news and video






Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK