Passion drove development

DESPITE the demise of the RX-8 and its 13B-derived Renesis engine in 2012, a small band of engineers carried on developing that engine’s intended successor, the 16X. Mazda R&D boss Kiyoshi Fujiwara (left) joked that he would warn his team to hide it when top brass dropped in. “Only one percent, or even 0.5 percent of R&D resources is used for these rotary engine models,” Fujiwara said. “But some of the engineers ... if I stopped the rotary, they would leave Mazda. I don’t know to which company they would go! But they would leave. Therefore I have to keep this kind of engine.”