Mazda reportedly remains committed to a rotary revival in the future, but has no plans for a six-cylinder engine employing its new SkyActiv technology.
US magazine Car and Driver reports that a new-generation rotary engine is in development, and a hybrid version is on the cards.
Speaking with Mazda US Vice President, Robert Davis, the magazine reports that the smooth and lightweight engine would be ideally paired with an electric generator, negating the engine’s intrinsic torque deficit over regular piston engines.
Even in its regular non-hybrid form, the engine will benefit from the new SkyActiv technology, focusing on reduced internal friction and rotating mass.
The report adds that while the much-hyped technology has debuted in its new four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, Mazda has ruled out the idea of a new six-cylinder engine.
The ageing CX-9 SUV is the sole model offered with a V6 engine in the brand's Australian range, and its replacement, due in 2013, is expected to drop two cylinders.
The new model will be lighter, through the use of the SkyActiv program's lightweight materials and construction methods, and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine is likely to replace the big 204kW 3.7 litre six.
We can also expect future Mazda6 variants to benefit from the same high-powered four-cylinder engine, creating a flagship performance model that could see the MPS badge return to the midsized family car.