Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Mazda Taiki: Tokyo Show Concept Previews New 1.6-liter Rotary Engine
To our misfortune, Mazda won’t exhibit a pre-preview version to the RX-7 successor at the Tokyo Show later on in October. Well at least not something that comes close to a production version. Agreed; Mazda may support that the Taiki Concept reflects one possible direction for the front-engine, rear-drive sports car of the future, but this is way too far ahead of our time.
The Taiki is the forth concept in the Nagare design theme flowing the in the footsteps of the Nagare, Ryuga, and Hakaze concept vehicles. Even more importantly though, the Taiki introduces Mazda’s next generation Rotary Engine dubbed 16X. Compared to RX8’s RENESIS unit, the 16X features an enlarged capacity (1.6-liters instead of 1.3-liters), a direct injection system and aluminum side housing.
Mazda Taiki reflects one possible direction for a future generation of Mazda sports cars aimed at helping create a sustainable society. The fourth concept car in the Nagare design series, Mazda Taiki further evolves the “flow” theme to establish a breathtaking presence that clearly distinguishes it as the next in the series, and which visually expresses the atmosphere – called taiki in Japanese – that wraps the Earth in its protective mantle.
The basic proportions begin with the stretched coupe form of a front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, the short overhangs, and the liberating feel of an all-glass canopy. The challenge to create “a design that visually expresses the flow of air” was inspired by the image of a pair of Hagoromo – the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend – floating down from the sky.
Inspired by Japanese koinobori – the decorative “climbing carp streamers”– the notion of creating an Air-tube became the concept word for the interior design. In accordance, from the dashboard and seats down to the door trim, the interior space creates the dynamic sensation that the flow of the wind is being visually depicted.
Centering around the performance rotary engine sports packaging that is synonymous with the Mazda name, technologies introduced for the Mazda Taiki include the next-generation RENESIS (rotary engine 16X), which sets new standards for environmental and driving performance, a front-engine rear-drive layout, a unique 2-seat configuration, and Mazda’s rotary sports package, which conveys an image of lightness. The effect integrates the design theme perfectly to realize outstanding aerodynamic performance.
Next Generation RENESIS (Rotary Engine 16X)
In developing the next-generation RENESIS, Mazda made a thoroughgoing revision of engine dimensions including the trochoid rotor housing, adopting a longer stroke and larger displacement of 1600cc (800cc x 2) aimed to raise thermal efficiency and boost torque at all engine speeds. By employing the Hydrogen RE design policy of a direct injection system and aluminum side housing, as well as variou