Automakers these days are hitting the big 100-year mark left and right, and Mazda is no exception. With its big date coming in 2020, plans are already underway to create a supercar worthy of celebrating the company’s centenary. Rumblings from within the company point to a halo vehicle that brings notoriety and prestige to the brand. Likely called the RX-9 , the car hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Yasuhiro Aoyama, Mazda’s General Manager of Global Sales and Marketing, smiled knowingly when asked about it by Motoring.com.au
Adding to the hype is the 2020 Olympics set to take place in Tokyo, helping shine the world spotlight on all things Japanese, Aoyama mentioned.
While 2020 is more than five years away, Mazda may be planning a revival of the rotary engine in the mean time. Combine the fact the automaker has already renewed the trademark on the RX-7 nameplate and the 50-year anniversary of the Cosmo rotary-engined sports car is happening in 2017, and things begin to look promising for Mazda’s sporting future.
"This is a very fantastic idea, 2017, [for] a new rotary," said Aoyama. “Fascinating,” as he grinned with the Motoring.com.au reporter. Though he refused to confirm anything, the possibility of the RX-7 and RX-9 seem more real.
All this is possible, thanks to Mazda’s record profits for the last Japanese fiscal year, topping $1.41 billion. With some extra cash in its pockets, Mazda has the resources to invest in new, high-stakes projects.
Click past the jump to read more about Mazda RX-9
Why It Matters
With two new sports cars on the horizon for Mazda, things are looking good. The possible return of a rotary-powered RX-7 would do wonders for the brand image as it harks back to the glory days. A world-class supercar would then propel the Japanese automaker into the future as a highly competitive brand with loads of history and sporting credibility under its belt.
Lets just hope Mazda is able to get these cars past the bean counters and red tape.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumblings about an RX-9. Back in 2011, the media was abuzz about a possible 2013 RX-9 hitting the streets with a hybrid powertrain borrowed from Toyota . Obviously that didn’t happen, so essentially all bets are off as to what Mazda’s got planned for the upcoming supercar. It would make sense for Mazda to stick with a hybrid powertrain as the Porsche 918 has proved its capabilities.
Just try imagining a rotary-powered hybrid supercar without drooling. Yeah, didn’t think so.