Mazda believes it could extract more power and torque from its award-winning Renesis rotary engine without the help of turbo- or superchargers and build lighter and smoother conventional engines.

Mazda believes it could extract more power and torque from its award-winning Renesis rotary engine without the help of turbo- or superchargers and build lighter and smoother conventional engines.

CARtoday.com reported last week that the Mazda Renesis rotary engine, as fitted to the RX-8 sportscar, won the International Engine of the Year Award of 2003. The panel consisted of 50 judges, representing 22 countries, including CAR magazine’s technical editor, Jake Venter.

In naming the rotary engine, the panel said the design was smooth and had a great willingness to rev. “Gloriously unconventional, super smooth, compact, light and different, the Mazda rotary is something rare, a true piece of automotive art. Also, a triumph of conviction and perseverance for the motivated team at Mazda,” said judge Peter Nunn.

Nobuhiro Hayama, the general manager of engine development at Mazda, said the RX-8’s engine had been earmarked for a larger two-door coupe and that work was underway to further develop the powerplant.

"We want to develop more torque and refinement without using a turbocharger or supercharged system," he said. This can be done by modifying the rotor sealing systems, improving the efficiency of combustion and the fuel-air mixing, and by revising the ignition. The building of a next-generation prototype will start at the end of this year.

"We are committed in the long term to the rotary engine. Renesis has much potential," he added.

According to , Mazda's perseverance with the rotary engine configuration has proved helpful to the development of conventional engines, especially in designing engines with compact blocks and 50:50 weight distribution. The RX-8 project is believed to have taught the engineers a lot about mid-mounting of an engine.

"Mazda’s new “normal” engines will be very small," said Hayama. “The next generation of Mazda engines will also be lighter, with significant improvements in NVH (noise, vibration, harshness).

"Today's reciprocal engine, when revving over 5 000 rpm, has bad vibration, but our new small T4 engine will be very smooth and have linear characteristics", he added. “Though we cannot reach rotary levels of refinement, we are trying to improve."

But could the Renesis engine find its way into other marques’ models - such as cars built by the Ford Motor Company’s subsidiaries?

"Only conventional engines are shared (with other Ford brands)," he said. "Only Mazda can produce the rotary engine, but it is lonely (being the engineers of such a project)... if Ford asked for the use of the rotary engine, I would object, because the rotary engine has to be only for Mazda."

Original article from Car