Mazda 16x – The Future of the Rotary Engine

The Mazda RX2, Mazda RX3, Mazda RX4, Mazda RX7 and now Mazda RX8 are all examples of successful rotary engine sports cars. The New Mazda 16x Rotary Engine should further popularize this offbeat combustion engine which features (as rotaries always have) a compact design with an exceptional power-to-weight ratio all in just 1.6 Liters.

Mazda is calling this new rotary engine the “long-stroke rotary engine.” As you may already know, the 13B rotary engine has a displacement of just 1300cc, which is 1.3 Liters. While the Mazda 16x has an engine displacement of 1600cc (800cc x 2), which is 1.6 Liters; and though they’ve made the 16x significantly larger than the 13B – it weighs less than a 13B. This is due to aluminum side housings, which Mazda says shouldn’t scare us.

Mazda’s aim here is “greater thermal efficiency” – which basically means, any car powered by the Mazda 16x is going to move like stink. Mazda says this [thermal efficiency] will increase torque at all engine speeds. (Rotary engines are notorious for having low torque, especially on the low-end.)

They’ve also added Direct Fuel Injection so you can expect the 16x to be considerably more economical compared to rotaries of the past. Harmful emissions will be greatly reduced as well and power should be slightly increased compared to common multi-point fuel injected rotaries such as the 13B. This should lean the fuel-air mixture out as well and may improve the rotaries nasty habit of flooding every time you move her down the street a block.

Mazda has done incredible things with their light and sporty 1.3 Liter 13B – just imagine what they can do with this new Mazda 16x! Better yet, just imagine what you could do with this new Mazda 16x rotary engine! Unfortunately, however, Mazda has yet to announce a production vehicle to carry the 16x. The closest we’ve gotten is the Mazda Taiki, a far-out prototype developed by Mazda under the “Nagare”(which is, Japanese for “flow”) concept of design.

So when will we see this new rotary engine in action?

Many expected this new rotary engine to appear in the 2009 Mazda RX8, but when the cover was pulled off at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we saw nothing but the Mazda 13B MSP Renesis engine beneath it’s glimmering hood.

To answer the question; your guess is as good as mine.

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