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Last-lap reprieve for Mazda rotary?

Not two months ago Mazda executive officer of product planning and powertrain development, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, sadly confirmed that the company had halted development of rotary engines due to financial constraints, and Wankel fans the world over went into mourning.

Production of the current Renesis engine will cease when the RX-8 goes out of production in December 2011, seemingly spelling the end of the Rotary Revolution, other than in specialised applications for aircraft.

A cutaway Mazda Renesis engine.

But now it seems all that angst may have been a bit premature, as Mazda's PR mavens gleefully tweet that they are "zealously working on new models to house the next-generation rotary engine".

Obviously, they didn't get Fujiwara's memo.

Another cybergarage rumour that just won't go away is that Mazda and Audi are considering a joint venture to build a new, small Wankel engine, possibly as an onboard generator for an extended-range electric vehicle.

All is not lost, rotary rats; as soon as we hear something a bit more substantial from Mazda, so will you.

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