Mazda has played a huge role in making the Rotary engine as popular as it is today. Beginning with the RX-7 and evolving into the RX-8, it has made quite an impression on most of the people who experience its potential. Now, Mazda is moving the rotary into the alternative fuels category, which should only increase the already growing fan base.
Mazda's rotary engine has always been known for its power, but it was lacking in the fuel economy department. Emissions were also a little under par with other vehicles of comparable size. The answer to this problem can be found in the use of Hydrogen.
The next generation RX-8, which will most likely be named the RX-9, will feature a dual-fuel capability. It can run on normal petroleum fuel and offer the performance that we have come to expect from the Mazda Rotary engine. When you feel like cutting some emissions and the amount of fuel you are burning, you can switch over to Hydrogen. Mazda reports fuel economy increases of up to 20 when running on Hydrogen.
As with all things, there is a downside. That 20% drop in fuel consumption will cost you about the same percentage under your right foot. Mazda is predicting that most people will use this to run around the city until more performance is needed, at which point petro will be switched on.
Mazda has been working with the Hydrogen powered RX-8 for over 8 months. The current prototype, called the RX8 HYDROGEN RE, has been a complete success. The newer Premacy MVP has also seen its fair share of tests and seems to be holding up very well.
The next-gen RX-8 will come in either a close ratio manual or the less enticing automatic gearbox putting power to the rear wheels. Mazda has also hinted that it will be taking styling cues from the Taiki concept originally seen at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. Sales should start sometime in 2012.
HatTip : AutoExpress