According to new from Autoweek, it appears Mazda has a new RX-7 in the works with plans to power it with the famous Wankel-type rotary engine. Although it’s not fully signed off on yet, the Japanese automaker is working on the preliminary designs as you read this.
The overall design seems to hinge on one major aspect: lightweight. It is said the new RX-7 will share its platform and underpinnings with the all-new MX-5 set to debut at next year’s Chicago Auto Show. With a targeted curb weight of only 2,400 pounds, the MX-5 will be a featherweight. Comparatively, the RX-7 is said to be slightly larger, yet only weighing 2,800 pounds.
Rumors surrounding the powertrain reveal some uncertainty within Mazda’s engineering department. It’s unclear if a twin- or triple-rotor setup will be used, but according to one source, it’s likely to remain a twin-rotor setup. Displacement is said to be roughly 600cc per rotor, making the twin-rotor design a 1.2-liter engine. Targeted output levels are said to be 250 horsepower.
It appears Mazda has penciled the RX-7 for a 2015 or 2016 launch date with an expected price of around $30,000. That price lands the RX-7 smack between the more expensive Porsche Cayman and the less expensive Subaru BRZ /Scion FR-S twins.
An interesting tid-bit of notoriety: Mazda’s chief designer is Ikuo Maeda, the son of the original RX-7’s designer. Though his family blood runs through the car, he says it will not be a retro design, nor will it feature too many of Mazda’s current design language.
Click past the jump to read the history of the Mazda RX-7.
The original Mazda RX-7 debuted in 1978 and featured at 2.3-liter, twin-rotary, Wankel-style engine that produced either 105 horsepower or 115 horsepower, depending on the model. The car enjoyed a long life that spanned three generations until it’s last production run in 2002. By then, the RX-7 was producing 276 horsepower from a 2.6-liter rotary. Zero to 60 mph times for the last model was a scant 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 156 mph.
The RX-7 enjoys a cult following by racers and collectors alike who favor the car for its two-door, lightweight design and ability to out-corner almost anything on the road.