Rotary engines are almost always associated with the name Mazda. For their small size, they can produce quite a bit of power, but at the expense of fuel economy and tailpipe emissions. Mazda, most likely in an effort to reduce the latter two, has been granted a patent for a newly designed rotary engine.
Among the minor changes to the famed rotary engine is the inclusion of direct injection and additional spacing between the pair of spark plugs. Although small, these changes could return some respectable gains in both the power and fuel economy department.
From the diagram, it also appears that the displacement will also be raised slightly above the previous 1.3 liters. Alongside the direct injection and more efficiently placed spark points, this new design could see a drastic drop in emissions as compared to the current examples.
The change in spacing would also allow Mazda engineers to alter the interior of the combustion chambers and improve airflow characteristics. Auto Blog Green
Mazda has yet to confirm or deny any plans for the future of their Renesis engine, but this would be a big step in the right direction if Mazda plans on continuing the rotary's legacy.