The radical rotary engine isn't dead yet.
Just months after Mazda ceased production of its RX-8 sportscar, the Godfather of the unique pistonless engine, Nobihiro Yamamoto, has confirmed the Japanese car maker is pressing ahead with a successor.
Yamamoto confirmed exclusively to MOTOR at the launch of the facelifted MX-5 that a new-gen RX-7 is currently undergoing development, to be powered by a cleaner, more powerful rotary engine that will be dubbed Sky-R.
Like the RX-8, the new sportscar will share most of its underpinnings with the iconic two-seat convertible which is due to replaced in 2014 alongside an Alfa Romeo Spider.
He wouldn't be drawn on more details, or confirm, whether it will be turbocharged, but is confident a suite of new technologies will overcome the rotary's deficiencies - primarily it's fuel consumption and emission outputs.
The RX-7 will likely make its debut as a concept car late next year at the bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show alongside a near production version of the fourth generation MX-5.