Mazda Design Boss Wants a New RX Model; Rotary Engine is a Must
Mazda global design chief Ikuo Maeda has made it clear that he wants to bring back the company’s RX series. You can’t blame the man for his sentiments. After all, he was the man behind the RX-8, and his father was the design force behind the RX-7. There’s an evident family connection there, and Maeda isn’t hiding his desire to bring back the RX after Mazda discontinued the RX-8 in 2012.
But saying it and convincing the Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai are two very different things. According to Automotive News, any progress toward bringing the RX series back begins with the advent of a new rotary engine. In other words, no rotary engine means no RX revival. Maeda himself acknowledged this, saying that the “R” in the ‘RX’ nomenclature stands for "rotary." What’s the use of bringing back the RX series if it’s only going to get the company’s new SkyActiv engines. Sure, these engines are clean and sporty, but they don’t have the characteristics of those old rotary engines.
Maeda could probably make a better case if Mazda engineers are anywhere close to developing rotary engines that fully adhere to today’s emissions regulations. Unfortunately, Mazda is no closer to doing that than I am of completing a 3-km run in under 20 minutes.
Kogai also indicated that the RX series would only be revived if there was adequate demand for it. By "adequate," the Mazda CEO means 100,000 units sold oer year. That’s a pretty big number, more so for a model whose slumping sales largely contributed to it being retired in the first place.
Clearly, there are a lot of obstacles Mazda has to overcome before it makes sense to bring back the RX series. But don’t tell that to Maeda. For him, there will always be hope.
"I will never give up," he told Automotive News. "Inside my head, I’m always going over shapes."
Click past the jump to read more about Mazda’s future RX car.
Why It Matters
I’m not going to lie; I want to see the Mazda RX series make a comeback too. I think anybody with a deep appreciation for its history would say the same thing. Unfortunately, I don’t make those decisions, and I can’t fault Mazda for wanting to assure it is a model worth building.
Besides, it’s not like the RX-8 was retired in a blaze of glory. On the contrary, it actually went out with the whimper of dwindling sales.
So I get why Mazda’s being particularly careful about committing any details or even acknowledging any information regarding the future of the RX series. Hopefully, the company brings it back and if it doesn’t, well, tough luck.
There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Mazda’s RX series. Even saying that feels like an understatement, but that’s where we find ourselves in these days. We’d be more skeptical of its possible revival if there were no rumors
So despite Mazda’s reported struggles in developing a new rotary engine for the RX series, a lot of people still cling and hope to see the RX in Mazda showrooms in 2017.
The rumors have been rather entertaining to date. I particularly enjoyed the one about Mazda having a turbocharged rotary engine in place that could produce as much as 449 horsepower and could compete with the Porsche 911. That would’ve been sweet.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon. That being said, it probably won’t hurt to keep our fingers crossed. You know, just in case a breakthrough happens over there at Mazda.
Source: Automotive News