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The next generation rotary engine, dubbed 16x (Sky R), is currently under development. Rumours suggest that the RX-8 may be replaced by a new smaller, lighter, simpler sports car set to compete with the likes of the Toyota 86. Mazda’s new 16x (Sky R) rotary engine is rumored to be at the heart of the RX-8 successor
Still, Kogai said Mazda hasn't completely abandoned the notion. Engineers continue to research the technology, he said, in part because the rotary engine can run flexibly on a wide variety of fuels, including gasoline, hydrogen and even kerosene.
“We are the first and only manufacturer to commercialize the rotary engine. In that respect, we have some responsibility,” Kogai said. “So please allow us to continue our research.”