We told you it was coming – the revival of Mazda’s rotary sports car program – it was a matter of time. The rumour mill churned out a gem earlier in the year predicting this, and Mazda’s teaser a few weeks ago was almost too obvious – despite being fairly obscure to the naked eye. But the wait is finally over – this is Mazda’s RX-VISION.
Displayed alongside the legendary Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S in Tokyo for this years Tokyo Motor Show, the concept marks 48 years since the first Wankel rotary-powered Mazda came into being – with the rumour strongly supported by Mazda insiders that we’ll see a production version of this concept in 2 years time, marking the 50-year anniversary of Mazda rotaries.
But back to the point – the Mazda RX-Vision concept revealed last night. It’s stunning, isn’t it? It’s the latest model to follow Mazda’s ‘Kodo – Soul of Motion’ design language, which has translated beautifully into the 2-seater sports car format. The cab-back design with a long, outstretched bonnet is oddly reminiscent of Aston Martins and the Mercedes-AMG GT, and like those 2 brands, it’s a front-engined, rear-wheel driven sports car.
Up front is a new Mazda rotary engine – touted as the SKYACTIV-R (SKYACTIV G is for Gasoline, and SKYACTIV D is for Diesel, so this makes sense) – which Mazda claim will meet emissions regulations due to extensive research, development, and re-engineering to make it SKYACTIV-compliant. Despite the rotary going out of production with the RX-8 in 2012, R&D of this technology never stopped. They haven’t released any further details regarding displacement or construction, but we suspect it’s a highly advanced version of the 16X engine revealed a few years back that never found a home in any production model.
At this stage it’s unclear whether the new engine will be naturally aspirated, boosted, or hybridised – or whether the new sports car will be linked to a manual or automated transmission of sorts. Whilst Mazda won’t say for certain we’ll see a production model, they are investigating making it viable – which we suspect is just code to say, “give us two years, we want to celebrate 50 years of Mazda rotaries with a bang.”