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Mazda has confirmed it is working on a next-generation rotary engine that may arrive in time for its centenary anniversary in 2020.

Speaking to Australia’s Wheels Magazine, Mazda’s Technical Research Centre and Integrated Control System Development boss, Mitsuo Hitomi, revealed the automaker is working on a new rotary engine. Hitomi said development of the rotary has focused on fixing some of the well-known shortcomings of the engine, such as apex seal wear and oil consumption. He also acknowledged that it isn’t possible to achieve the same emissions levels as a conventional engine in a rotary.

'We’re still continuing development of the next generation rotary engine,' Hitomi said.

'We cannot improve the rotary engine to the current conventional engine emissions,' he added. 'We are investigating various kinds of emission systems to ensure ideal conditions.'

This focus on fuel burn efficiency was later reiterated by Mazda’s head of product strategy, Hidetoshi Kudo, who told Wheels the automaker was looking at alternative ignition technologies to remedy the problem.
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