Mazda To Unveil A New Sport Car Concept In Tokyo, Could It Be The RX-7?
Having just unveiled the Koeru concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Mazda has announced yet another premier for the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show in October. This time around though, the Japanese will launch a concept car that previews a future sports car.
"Mazda’s latest creation clearly embodies the carmaker’s lineage. Designers strove to condense the company’s sports car history to as great a degree as possible into this concept," is all Mazda had to say about the new concept, while releasing a shadowy teaser of a slick coupe.
Though I can’t see any details below the waist, the concept is obviously a full-fledged grand tourer employing a long engine hood, a sloping roof, and a short rear deck. The vehicle also features a pair of taillights placed high into the rear fascia, a detail that seems borrowed from the RX-7. Down below, a pair of big, round exhaust tips are visible, suggesting the grand tourer will pack a powerful engine.
Even though there’s no official confirmation as of yet, it seems as if Mazda is finally working on a closed-top sports car to fill the gap the brand has in its lineup since it discontinued the RX-8 in 2012. But will this new vehicle be a spiritual successor to the RX-8 or another sports car from Mazda’s past?
Continue reading for the full story.
RX-8, RX-7 or Cosmo?
Though it was introduced as a successor to the RX-7, the RX-8 had very little in common with its forerunner, despite both using rotary engines. Wider and taller than the RX-7, which made it significantly less aggressive by design, the RX-8 was also heavier than its predecessor. More importantly, it was a 2+2 quad coupe, which meant it had an additional pair of doors for access to the rear seats. The teaser clearly depicts a sleek, two-door coupe that bears a closer resemblance to the RX-7.
Since Mazda will also display a classic 1967 Cosmo Sport 110S alongside the new concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show and made mention of its designers’ efforts to "condense the company’s sports car history" into the concept, I wouldn’t be surprised if this new study would be presented as a spiritual successor to the Cosmo. However, the latter was far from a conventional grand tourer, as it only provided seating for two and had a long rear deck.
This only leaves us with the RX-7 as inspiration for this new sports car, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Mazda is actually looking at it for the future. It could bring forward a brand-new recipe. Of course, it would be great if this new sports car will follow in the footsteps of the RX-7, but the important thing here is that Mazda is finally working on a sports car to slot above the MX-5.
SkyActiv or rotary engine?
There have been countless rumors that Mazda may be working on a new rotary engine for a future sports car, but the Japanese provided very few official info on the matter. While there’s enough reason to get excited about a future Wankel-powered, lightweight sports car, we shouldn’t forget that both the RX-7 and RX-8 were discontinued for a reason. The Renesis engine was simply unfit for modern emission standards and it would have cost a fortune to be re-engineered just for one model.
All told, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Mazda to build a new rotary engine from the ground up just to drop it in one vehicle. With the rest of the lineup using conventional engines employing the brand’s SkyActiv technology, it’s very unlike for Mazda to start digging for groundbreaking engineering in the rotary department at this point.
On the other hand, stranger things have happened...
But until Mazda spills some beans, I strongly believe that this new sports car will use one of the company’s existing four-cylinder gasoline engines.
Read our full review on Mazda RX-8 here.