Rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION Concept unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 29, 2015

Japanese carmaker Mazda Motor Corporation has unveiled the Mazda RX-VISION Sports Car Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015. As its name suggests, this front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports concept represents a “vision” of the future that only Mazda could provide and that fans have been hoping would become real.

Serving as the core of the RX-VISION is the engine type that Mazda is known for – a SKYACTIV-R rotary engine, albeit the next generation version.

This technology is considered unconventional as it deviates from the usual engine types being used by most vehicles today. At the same type, this technology is also considered as the most enthralling representation of Mazda’s challenger spirit.

On the question of why rotary engines are unconventional, it is because these powerplants use the rotational motion of triangular rotors to generate power. On the other hand, conventional engines use reciprocating pistons to generate power.

At first, Mazda’s technology met several technical difficulties, but somehow the carmaker managed to offer rotary engines in production cars. The first was in the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S in 1967. Mazda has then been fitting rotary engines to many of its models, the most notable and successful of which was Mazda RX-7.

Mazda produced over 800,000 RX-7 units between 1978 and 2002. Additionally, the success of the carmaker’s rotary engine was heard all over the world when in 1991, Mazda became the only company to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a rotary-powered race car (Mazda 787B).

Showing its challenger spirit, Mazda has been improving the rotary engine through its R&D efforts, even though the carmaker is not currently mass-producing any rotary models.

Mazda has now chosen the SKYACTIV-R label for the next-generation rotary engine to indicate its resolve to deliver technologies that defy convention coupled with exhilarating SKYACTIV experience.

Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO, remarked that the carmaker will continue taking on new challenges as it endeavors to build a special bond with its customers and become their “one and only brand.”

Press Release

Mazda Reveals Mazda RX-VISION Concept

-- Powered by next-generation rotary engine SKYACTIV-R, represents Mazda's vision of the future --

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled the rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show*1 today. The rotary engine is a symbol of the company's "never-stop-challenging" spirit.

RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, KODO design-based proportions only Mazda could envision, and powered by the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine.

Rotary engines feature a unique construction, generating power through the rotational motion of a triangular rotor. Overcoming numerous technical difficulties, Mazda succeeded in commercializing the rotary engine, fitting it in the Cosmo Sport (known as Mazda 110S overseas) in 1967. As the only automaker to mass-produce the rotary engine, Mazda continued efforts to improve power output, fuel economy and durability, and in 1991 took overall victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans with a rotary engine-powered race car. Over the years, the rotary engine has come to symbolize Mazda's creativity and tireless endeavor in the face of difficult challenges.

While mass production is currently on hold, Mazda has never stopped research and development efforts towards the rotary engine. The next rotary engine has been named SKYACTIV-R, expressing the company's determination to take on challenges with convention-defying aspirations and the latest technology, just as it did when developing SKAYCTIV TECHNOLOGY.

"I look forward to talking with you more about this vision we have revealed here today at the Mazda stand," said Mazda's Representative Director, President and CEO, Masamichi Kogai. "Mazda will continue to take on new challenges in an effort to build a special bond with our customers and become their 'one and only' brand."

*1 Open to the public from October 30 through November 8, 2015

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