Aside from a Japan-only 2 EV, where a small single rotor engine is used as a ‘range extender’, “The rotary engine,” Mr Masahiro said, “in a (Mazda) production car, is not on.”
He did however say that development on the rotary is continuing, but that “a sports car using the rotary engine entirely is off”.
While this will disappoint enthusiasts, the challenge with the rotary, Mr Masahiro said, is in meeting European 2020 emissions standards.
Instead, Mazda’s focus is on its SkyActiv technology: “Our mission is to develop ‘the perfect cylinder’”, he said.
As for a sportscar partner to the MX-5, that is also off the table. “We’ll continue to use the MX-5 as an icon for the brand,” he said. “But it’s very difficult to forecast sportscar sales.”
That also scotches the RX-7; you can park that thought into “what might have been” for the moment.