We haven’t heard any details on a possible Mazda RX-7 successor for quite some time now, but new details have surfaced on the internet suggesting that such a rotary-powered successor to the RX-7 could be offered as a competitor for the next generation Nissan Z.
The new RX-7 will sit atop the current Mazda lineup and, unlike the RX-8, it will not come as a four-door coupe. It will, however, again come in the same front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout.
Rumored to be called RX-9, the new sports car will likely be powered by a new rotary engine developed by the company and is set to be put into production within the next five years. This RX-9 will likely be initially offered in naturally aspired version, but a turbocharged version is also a possibility.
According to Mazda officials, a final decision hasn’t been made just yet because the company wants to investigate the economic situation before deciding if to offer the new sports car or not.
We’ll keep an eye out and let you know when we hear more details.
Mazda produced the RX-7 from 1978 to 2002 and, compared to the RX-8, it did very well. Now, after almost ten years, the Japanese company will bring back the RX-7 DNA with the launch of a new sports car called the RX-9. And, however chronologically deficient it may be, the RX-9 is being made as a successor to the RX-7 and not the RX-8. We should be seeing this new model hit the streets as soon as the RX-8 bids adieu to the market.
The RX-9 is rumored to be built in the image of the most recent RX-7, the highly regarded version championed by the legendary "Koby" Kobayakawa, which went out of production in 2002. And, unlike the RX-8, it will be a two-door coupe model and not a complicated four-door coupe. Under the hood, Mazda will place the now famous 16X rotary engine.
Expect an official debut to be made in 2012, with sales to begin in late 2013.
UPDATE 05/25/2011: MotorTrend is reporting that the future Mazda RX-9 sports car will be using hybrid technology borrowed from Toyota, thanks in part to an agreement the automakers signed last year. Apparently Mazda will only use Toyota’s hybrid drive unit as power booster and range extender, but the vehicle’s main power will come from the Mazda-built rotary.
UPDATE 06/01/2011: We know everyone got very excited about a possible future RX-9, but Mazda has denied all rumors associated with the production of this vehicle. According to the company, there are no plans for such a vehicle, and moreover, the very future of the rotary engine at Mazda is in jeopardy. The RX-8 is also preparing for a very sad end after a very unsuccessful history, but some good news is on the horizon as there is a good possibility that we will see a successor for the RX-7. This vehicle will share its platform with the future generation MX-5 and it is expected to be revealed in about two years. (CarAndDriver)
Hit the jump for some specifics on the new RX-9. Full story
The Mazda RX-8 wasn’t exactly a crowd pleaser with trickling sales damaging its already bruised reputation, so Mazda’s decision to axe the car before any further damage could be done was a smart one to say the least. The car more than likely won’t be missed, but Mazda has chosen to fill the void in their lineup anyway with a new model: the Mazda RX-9.
Built on the MX-5 chassis, the new RX-9 will follow along Mazda’s new "Kodo - Soul of Motion" design language as seen on the Shinari concept unveiled in 2010. The two-door coupe will weigh no more than 2,755lbs and will feature Mazda’s 16X rotary engine paired with an electric supercharger. This engine will mated to a twin clutch, two pedal six-speed tranny and will deliver 300hp. However, the increase in horsepower from the RX8’s 232 to the RX-9’s 300 won’t make for frequent trips to the gas station. This revised engine is said to improve fuel economy by 20%.
The official debut will be sometime in 2012 with sales to begin sometime in 2013. Yes, we know that’s quite a bit of time to wait for the actual car, but at least we have these renderings fresh off the artist’s desk to tide everyone over until that time.
Hit the jump for the second rendering of the 2013 Mazda RX-9. Full story