Firstly, there will be a replacement for the thirsty Renesis engine used in the now discontinued RX-8. The replacement rotary engine will feature reduced internal friction, reduced rotating mass and more fuel efficient transmissions. All of these, when combined, will have a significant improvement in fuel efficiency.
Another drawback factor in Mazda’s previous rotary engine is the level of exhaust emissions. It will be crucial for the company to launch a new rotary engine that is able to meet emissions regulations especially in Europe and the United States. The RX-8 was pulled out from the European market in 2010 due to this reason.
One of the strategies for the new rotary engine is to consider the usage of a power range extending generator, something like in the Chevrolet Volt. The rotary’s small size and light weight will be ideal for the usage of such item. And also, the rotary’s engine low torque output will not be a factor when powering a generator.
On top of these, Mazda is also looking at moving towards the usage of four cylinder engines in its line-up, just like Volvo. Although there are no official reports of replacing the V6 engines used in some of its models (Mazda6 and CX-9) but there are also no news about any plans to develop a SkyActiv six cylinder engine.
Instead, the Mazda6 will exclusively feature a four cylinder engine and the CX-9 will likely get a turbocharged version of the engine. As for the next generation MX-5, Davis mentioned that it will be smaller and lighter as what many have reported and it will feature design cues from Mazda’s Kodo design language.