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.
The RX-7 was one of the coolest sports cars produced by Mazda from 1978 to 2002. It was then replaced by the RX-8 - a model that did not experience the same kind of love as did the RX-7.
Skipping right past the one that may have been better left on the drawing board, Mazda has decided to bring back the RX-7 in 2017, marking 50 years since the introduction of Mazda’s first rotary-engined car, the Cosmo Sport. This same year will also mark 15 years since the RX-7 was dropped from the line.
According to Mazda Motor Corporation’s Sports Car Chief Nobuhiro Yamamoto, the new generation RX-7 will be lighter, less complex, and will deliver a greater emphasis on driver involvement. However, he also said that the new RX-7 won’t exactly follow the lead of the previous RX-7. It will be built on the same platform as the next-generation MX-5, but will feature a a stretched wheelbase to accommodate a pair of small rear seats.
The new RX-7 will most likely be powered by a naturally-aspirated version of the new 16X rotary engine with an output of about 300 HP. A turbo version is also a possibility, but will occur later in the RX-7’s life.
As for the price tag, Mazda hopes to keep it somewhere in the same area of the Nissan 370Z, which starts off at about $33,000.
When the RX-7 hit near supercar status in the 1990s, the Rotary engine was a thing of beauty and Mazda had all but perfected it. The only remaining downfall was the fuel required to keep the rotors inside the engine spinning. This fuel consumption, plus a restructuring of Mazda’s U.S. market, led to the deletion of the RX-7 and its perfected rotary following the 1995 model year.
When the rotary engine made its way into the sexy, yet fairly flabby, RX-8 in 2004, the rotary enthusiast clamored over its 238 horsepower without any turbo. However, hiding in deep within the engine was its biggest sore spot, a puny 159 pound-feet of torque that sucked up a gallon of gas after only about a dozen miles. Through the RX-8’s life, Mazda refused to turbocharge the 1.3-liter rotary and the new Renesis rotary engine was effectively to blame for the RX-8’s disappearance following the 2011 model year.
This all brings us to today, as Mazda finally closes the chapter on the RX-8 by rolling the final rotary engine off of its production line and into a special edition Mazda Spirit R, which is only available in Japan. This closes one chapter in the life of the rotary engine, as Mazda has no plans to develop a replacement for the failed RX-8, despite rumors of an RX-9.
Even if the rotary is to make a comeback in the future, it will likely not come back as a gasoline engine. We would likely see it used in a gasoline/hydrogen hybrid system, as Bloomberg is reporting that Mazda is currently testing out how this Wankel works on hydrogen.
As much as we once loved the rotary engine, we think it is time to put this old dog down and let us remember the good old days of the 255-horsepower, 217 pound-feet of torque twin-boosted 1.3-liter rotary. The only way we could agree with bringing the rotary back is in a turbocharged sports car platform, like this engine is intended.
When Mazda first introduced its Wenkel engine in 1961, the automotive world was set alight it. Soon after, many manufacturers clamored to build their own. This engine was an automotive Gibraltar, no matter the challenges it faced, the Wenkel soldiered on. These challenges came from every angle from new emissions standards in 1970 to an oil crisis three years later, in addition to innumerable engineering issues. Mazda cultivated their Wenkel engine and planted it in their sporty RX-7 and it was an instant hit. Even when the RX-8 emerged as a successor to the RX-7 in 2001, the Wenkel heart beat on. Now as the RX-8’s production run is scheduled to end in 2011, a steady stream of rumors about the current Wenkel engine’s successor have flown past our desks.
First, we are going to ask all Mazda fans to take a deep breath. Okay, now that that is taken care of, we have some bad news according to Ward’s Auto Mazda is considering putting the new engine development on hold. The reason for this cutback was that at this time of economic woe, Mazda was looking for a way to reduce expenses and apparently this new engine program is very expensive.
We hope that even as the bean counters are clamoring about diminishing profit margins, Mazda continues to develop this engine. It provides the RX-8 and it’s successor with fantastic high performance and, in the era of pretty and almost all identical cars, Mazda offered a unique take on a sports car. We all hope that Mazda comes to their senses and keeps this iconic power plant.
The fact that Mazda is well into their plans to terminate the current RX-8 sports car is common knowledge at this point. However, if eliminating their only rotary-powered vehicle is in the works, why is the company still working on their Wankel engine?
There are whispers fluttering around that Mazda may be working on a new sports car model with the help of none other than Audi. Audi just released their A1 hatchback-based e-tron concept, which features a 254cc Wankel range-extender located beneath the trunk floor, so these latest rumors suggest that the two will be getting into bed together on a new rotary sports car featuring similar technology.
Mazda’s next sports car was originally thought to be the RX-9, but recent news has gotten people thinking that Mazda may be working on a successor to the RX-7 instead. Whichever model they choose to roll with, Inside Line is reporting that Mazda’s next rotary sports car will hopefully achieve just 130 g/km of CO2 compared to the 299 g/km of the current RX-8. Other features of the new sports car may include micro-hybrid technology, auto stop/start, lightweight materials, and laser ignition - which eliminates the use of spark plugs, ultimately making it easier to seal the Wankel’s trochoidal combustion chamber for improved efficiency and reduced hydrocarbon emissions.
Now that the clock has finally run out and just hours away from the first showing of Fast Five - the fifth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise - we felt like it’s the right time to give proper respect to the characters that have made this movie franchise as fun as it has been since the first movie came out in 2001.
And if you think that we’re talking about resident leading men, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, guess again. This list has very little to do with them, or their other co-stars for that matter, but more so about what they were driving during the first four movies. Yes, dear friends. This is a list to honor the Top 10 cars of the Fast and Furious franchise!
Do take note that we compiled this list based on our opinions so if you have any sort of reaction on the cars we chose and the number we gave them, you have the floor in the comments section to let us hear about it.
Garage Revolution has prepared a very cool Mazda RX-7 for the World Time Attack Challenge. Their RX-7 is powered by a 13B turbo engine that has received a 50mm exhaust manifold, 80mm front pipe, 80mm full titanium exhaust, custom airbox, custom cooling ducts for turbine, MoTeC M2R ECU and boost control solenoid. The result is an impressive 600 HP and with a total weight of 2204 lbs you can only imagine the level of performance it will deliver.
For the exterior the car gets a carbon fiber front bumper, rear bumper and quarter panels, front fenders, side skirts, front and rear canards, rear diffuser, rear hatch, doors, hood and GT Wing; Craft Square dry carbon fiber side mirrors. For the interior Garage Revolution added a roll cage for the driver’s safety, carbon fiber dash, center console, transmission tunnel and floor, custom gear selector and linkage, shift knob, reverse selector; AP Racing air jack kit, brake bias selector and adjustable pedal box.
What happens when you put Kawasaki ZX10 against Jim Guthrie and his Corvette-powered Mazda RX-7 drift machine? The answer is as simple as possible: greatest show ever! And by the way, ZX10 piloted by Nicj Brocha. And if we are talking about a drift battle even better!
We don’t know about you, but we watch this video over and over again and we can not decided which one do we prefer better: the moto or the car. So, conclusion, we’ll take both. They seem to be equally fun to drive and they both drift impressive. And now imagine this: the RX-7 is no doubt an impressive car. Now put under the hood a Corvette engine and imagine what it could no next! All we need next is a race track and the two one next to each other!
If rumors are to be trusted then Mazda may be unveiling a successor for the RX-7 sports car in 2013. Inside sources have told Autocar that the car will be called the RX-9 and will retain the rotary Renesis technology employed by its predecessors and the RX-8.
With the next RX-7, Mazda will focus on improving fuel consumption and torque required to keep pace with rivals like the VW Scirocco. A Mazda source said: "We’re testing the rotary in conjunction with technologies including an electric turbocharger."
The next generation RX-7 will be powered by Mazda’s all new Renesis 16X power plant which debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show inside of the Taiki concept car. The Renesis(2) rotary engine is a 1.6 Liter twin rotor motor that will develop a maximum output of 350 HP and 215 lb-ft of torque.
The RX-9’s design language will be inspired by the Nagare design language, which is inspired by nature — in particular, wind and flowing water.
As a few people may have known, the Mazda RX-8 is not a very successful model and Mazda decided to drop it. The Japanese company has decided that it will bring back the RX-7 to fill the unfulfilling void the RX-8 will leave behind.
According to the British magazine, AutoCar, Mazda is preparing a new rotary engine that can run on petrol or diesel. It is a two-stroke 16X engine that in its current state develops a total of 300bhp and sprints the car from 0 to 60mph in under five seconds.
The next RX-7 is already under testings and it seems that Mazda’s R&D department has invited several external drivers and racers to try it out.
As a reminder, the new RX-7 will be an affordable, user-friendly sports car with a reasonable price tag of $30,000USD.