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BY: Bix

Mazda Sets New Rotary Program to Idle

But the engine’s development hasn’t stalled yet.

Sorry, rotary nuts, but it looks like you're gonna have to wait a little while longer for the next Wankel-powered sports car from Mazda. Thanks to the recession, the car maker has reportedly been forced to divert cash and energy from the next-gen rotary towards other powertrains, like Mazda's new SkyActiv engines (formerly just known as the Sky engine range).

While we certainly understand the motivation behind Mazda's decision (especially if, as they claim, the SkyActiv 1.4 liter inline-four can eke out the 70 mpg highway promised in the next-gen Mazda2), we hope they find a way to push the rotary back on track soon. The new Wankel, reportedly displacing 1.6 liters, supposedly achieves better fuel economy than the company's current 2.0 liter I4—you know, the engine that gets 28 mpg in the Miata. And we have little doubt the company has kept the fun factor intact.

Rumor has it the car maker could have the next-gen RX sports car ready for 2013, so hopefully, Mazda will aim to have their new rotary done by then; a recent $240 million cash infusion into the car manufacturer's R&D budget will hopefully help speed things along. Let's go, new RX-7! [via Motor Trend, Automotive News (subscription required)]

Pictured: a Mazda RX-8 who just wants a hug.

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