Mazda's Wankel rotary engine has always been unique in the automotive landscape as a mass-produced internal combustion engine that eschews such unsightly items as pistons, valves and camshafts. The Wankel packs lots of power into a very small package, but one thing it's never been is fuel efficient, despite its relatively meager 1.3-liters of displacement. It seems the Japanese automaker is working hard to change that reputation with the next generation of the RX series.

Like the classic 13B engine that the current Renesis is still based on, the new 16X would use two rotors, though enlarged to 800cc each for a total of 1.6 liters. Despite the increase in displacement, Mazda hopes to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions by 20 percent.

Other efficiency improvements are planned as well, including a dual-clutch transmission and a significant weight savings over the current RX-8, which isn't exactly a porker as it is. Supposedly, the new rotary would be available in both a two-door, two-seat RX-7 and a larger, four-seat RX-9 variants.

[Source: Inside Line]

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