Mazda’s RX-7 and RX-8 successor could return before the end of the decade, according to reports from the Japanese press.
Holiday Auto reports that the carmaker will hold its promise to keep the rotary flame burning with a new model powered by a SKYACTIV-R engine.
Dubbed the ‘RX-9’ - a name it may wear in production - the new model has reportedly been given the green light by Mazda’s board with styling to be influenced by the RX-Vision concept (pictured) from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
Power could come from a 1.6 litre (2 X 800cc) rotary unit producing around 295kW, and the aim of producing a sports car with acceleration “like a bike”. Turbocharging is also a likely option.
Mazda would reportedly target a weight below 1300kg for the finished product.
Further clues to a new rotary-powered Mazda sports car for 2020 could come at next year’s Tokyo Motor Show, as Mazda pays tribute to 50 years of the rotary.
Mazda’s 100th anniversary in 2020 would also make for a suitable launch date, and rumours also indicate a link to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
While the gap between rotary models for Mazda grows ever longer, the carmaker has never given up on the technology with company leaders stating in the past that Mazda has “a responsibility” to keep it alive.
Emissions laws are the biggest hurdle, however, and the more that gap between models grows, the harder it will be for a rotary to get the nod from the environment cops.
Watch this space.