Corroborating recent rumors, a Mazda executive has voiced optimism for a turbocharged RX rotary engine.
Speculation surrounding the RX-8′s anticipated successor suggests the new car, likely labeled the RX-9, could employ twin turbochargers to deliver around 450 horsepower and meet more stringent emissions standards.
“Personally, I think that a rotary with some turbo or compressor would be good,” Mazda drivetrain and powertrain assistant manager Tetsushi Marutani recently told Australia’s Motoring. “Because a rotary, in my opinion, they require more [torque at] low speed, low down torque. So if we have some small compressor or turbo it would help.”
Separate reports claim engineers are working on a unique hybrid-compressor system for the new engine, a dual-rotor 1600cc mill referred to as the ’16X.’ The setup is said to take advantage of an electrically-driven compressor to virtually eliminate lag at low rpm. At higher revs, a traditional exhaust-driven compressor takes over to deliver maximum power.
The company has continued to ramp up its rotary talk after showing the RX-Vision concept (pictured) late last year in Tokyo. Chief executive Masamichi Kogai has hinted that a production car could ride on the same platform that underpins the new MX-5 Miata.
If the engineering team achieves its performance and emissions targets, a production model could be revealed as early as 2017.
Live images by Ben Hsu.