If you know of the Japanese-spec RX-8 Spirit R special edition from 2011, you would be aware of the rotary engine. In fact, it was the last model to be equipped with the said engine. But recently, Mazda hinted that the RX might come back to life, and this may look like the RX Vision concept unveiled in 2015. Furthermore, when the Japanese automaker celebrated the 50th anniversary of rotary power this year, they did say that “the story is not over yet” - another reason why we should expect to see this soon. Therefore, we are hoping to see a new rotary-powered show car for next month’s 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
The new concept that seems like an evolution RX Vision may actually be closer to a production model. During the Frankfurt Motor Show, Matsuhiro Tanaka, Mazda’s Vice President for R&D Europe, said that the model will represent an intention from the design and engineering community to turn it into a reality. He further explained himself saying that they are trying their best to make things work, and make them a possibility. Coming from him, that is more viable than just a gossip.
Unlike before with the MX-5 / 124 Spider where Mazda partnered with Fiat, they will be working solo this time, says Tanaka. The company made it clear that they are currently not interested in teaming up with another automaker to cut down on development and costs.
By looking at this, we are guessing that a rotary-powered production car by Mazda will be available for a 2020 launch to celebrate the automaker’s centenary. It was not so long ago when a spokesperson from the company admitted that they have not stopped the development of the rotary engine, and that there are some things that need to be ironed our first. So far, we’ve heard that they’ve been troubleshooting some issues such as the current engine emissions and flame propagation. For the latter, they are considering things like laser ignition or plasma ignition, but the laser one might be a little too expensive.
Since the company has not revealed plenty of details regarding the future rotary-powered Mazda, we will just have to wait for the Tokyo Motor Show scheduled to take place October 25 to see the actual concept. We are looking forward to seeing some actual technical specifications, since all we know right now is that it will be the original RX-Vision that will be equipped with a Skyactiv-R rotary engine.
It has been almost two years since Mazda first revealed the RX Vision, and the company has been quiet about it after it was first introduced to us.