Illustration by Holiday Auto Magazine

The guys over at motor trend got a tip from a source in Hiroshima, Japan. That the 4th Generation Mazda Rx-7 rotary beast is in the works. It’s a bi-fuel rotary that can run on gas or diesel. They still want to keep the rotary engine alive and I’m thankful they are, it’s a amazing engine. They are still trying to work out the best combination of performance, fuel economy and emissions. Which is a challenge for sure with a rotary engine.

Our source tells that the next generation 16X rotary, as it’s called inside the company, has achieved significant improvements in fuel efficiency but still lacks the strong top end punch Mazda is striving for. Other issues include oil consumption — the current RX-8 rotary burns more oil than it should. Power for the 16X is expected to clear 300 horsepower, with 0-60 mph acceleration times dropping to under 5.0 seconds.

Intriguingly, the 2-stroke 16X rotary prototype does not seem to mind what fuel it sips, which is why Mazda engineers are proposing it be set up to run on either gas or diesel. In fact, some industry types say that the rotary can run on just about anything, even castor oil. With this combination, Mazda hopes to rectify the prototype’s shortcomings.

A recent independent survey revealed that demand for an affordable rotary powered sports car is still as strong as it’s ever been in the U.S. If it wasn’t for the U.S. market, and more precisely Mazda North American Operations, which continues to push for the introduction of a new RX-7, the car would have been shelved years ago. But the RX-7 lives, and Mazda has even given us some hints as to what the new car might look like, with expressive sheet metal echoing the avant-garde surfacing of concepts such as the Kabura and Furai.

Pretty exciting news, hopefully we’ll see a prototype soon. The Rx-7 spirit must LIVE ON!