Say what you will about the styling of the Mazda Taiki concept that's currently on display in Tokyo. It's quite possible that what's underneath is more interesting, anyway. Under the hood of the Taiki is a new gen rotary engine from Mazda called the 16X Renesis. Of course, the Rotary engine has its share of detractors, but Mazda's sticking with it anyway.
Further refining Felix Wankel's trochoid wonder, the Renesis (known internally as the 13B-MSP) has been massaged and enlarged for the first time in a very long time. Capacity is now 800cc per rotor, bringing total size up to 1.6 liters. Direct injection allows the 16X Renesis to put out more power and torque while running cleaner than a port injection setup would have allowed. Attention was also paid to reducing the oil consumption that Wankels are known for. The size of the engine is still pony-keg compact, and the rotor housing is now aluminum, which should save a little weight. While the new larger chamber design and direct injection offer more efficiency, it still remains to be seen whether or not the Rotary is capable of modern horsepower numbers without turbochargers (difficult with the side-port design) or swilling fuel like a sailor on shore leave. The 16X may show up in a special version of the current RX-8, or Mazda may hold off until a new RX-8 bows in 2011.

[Source: AutoWeek, Photo: Winding Road]

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