Thursday, February 12th 2015. | Auto & Motor, Car

After it made the decision to end the RX-8’s production back in 2011, Mazda has been left without a single model to feature rotary power, but various reports seem to suggest that the Japanese carmaker still considers this type of engine viable for a future sequel to the RX-7. The latest rumor supporting this statement comes from Autocar, who recently had a word with Kenichiro Saruwatari, vice-president of European R&D at Mazda.

According to Saruwatari, Mazda still keeps a department of 30 engineers developing rotary engine projects, and suggested that they may be also working on a model to be unveiled in 2020, when the carmaker will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Naturally you should take this information with a grain of salt, as a rotary-powered RX-7 successor is mostly speculative by Autocar. Since the skunworks rotary team is limited in number of engineers, Mazda is actively employing the services of Japanese universities, while none other than NASA is apparently its partner in terms of material technologies.

Some Mazda purists may remember that the material used on the tips of the RX-8’s engine “pistons” was actually specified by NASA. According to Autocar’s speculation on the matter, the future rotary-powered Mazda is likely to employ either the RX-7 or the RX-6 moniker, in order to indicate a smaller, lightweight, two-seater likely positioned slightly above the Toyobaru segment of sports cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mazda rotary plans.

Rotary Mazda RX-7 Successor May Arrive in 2020 originally appeared on on Thursday, 12 February 2015 06:00 EST.

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