• 2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept

Mazda’s highly anticipated sports car concept has been unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, confirming that the Japanese automaker is set to not only revive the RX nameplate, but also bring a mass-produced rotary engine to the market. Dubbed RX-VISION concept, the sleek looking sports car previews the fourth-generation RX-7 and the brand’s next-generation rotary engine.

Though Mazda’s press release for the RX-VISION concept was rather brief, our friends over at Top Gear managed to obtain more details from Kiyoshi Fujiwara — the company’s head of R&D — who confirmed that the production car will indeed wear the RX-7 badge.

“Will it be called RX-9? Well, all previous RX-7s have been two or 2+2 seaters and the RX-8 was a four-seater, so what would that make RX-9? A six-seater? This concept is a two-seater so you can imagine which number fits best,” he said.

Fujiwara also divulged precious information about the next-generation SkyActiv-R rotary engine, the car’s curb weight, and the segment the production model will compete in, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out more about that.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

  • 2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 653153
2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Design-wise, the RX-VISION concept is an extremely good-looking coupe that has the proportions of a sleek grand tourer. However, a quick peek at its dimensions reveals that the concept is rather compact, measuring only 172.8 inches in length. The styling blends elements from Mazda’s already familiar KODO design language and modern and classic cues alike. Essentially a mildly futuristic evolution of the Miata’s design, the RX-VISION also incorporates styling cues seen on the third-generation RX-7, such as the taillights placed high into the rear fascia, the low profile of the long engine hood, and the sloping, tailgate-like rear glass area.

The RX-VISION also incorporates styling cues seen on the third-generation RX-7

The front end is dominated by a massive grille with black trim that extends into the headlamps. The light units are extremely slim and aggressive. The main bulb is almost hidden in a crevice between the grille’s black insert extension and the body panel, while the daytime running lights are thin LED inserts into the bodywork. These create the impression that a second pair of headlamps might pop up anytime, which is brilliant to be honest. Down below, the apron features three slender intakes and a splitter that appears to be made from carbon-fiber.

Moving onto the sides, the lines are simple and organic. Even though the beltline is straight from the front wheels toward the quarter window, the arched rear fenders give the profile a dramatic look. Much like the previous-generation RX-7, the concept car has sculpted side skirts that go upward toward the rear wheels, only this time around they’re made from carbon-fiber. The roofline is arguably the lowest ever seen on a Mazda, giving the concept a supercar-like appearance. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t likely to find its way on the production car.

Around back, the design is clean and simple. The fascia doesn’t have many character lines to brag about, but the round taillights and the small spoiler that runs through them gives it a unique look. Rounding off the rear end is a carbon-fiber diffuser with big and round exhaust outlets at each extremity.

The concept is finished in a flashier version of Mazda’s Soul Red paint, an excellent choice given the big amount of black-painted and carbon-fiber elements to contrast with.


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Interior
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The RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior, devoid of any futuristic lines or technologies

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior, devoid of any futuristic lines or technologies. The dashboard has nothing but a simple instrument cluster with three round gauges, while the center console features only a "Start" button, a gear shifter, and a parking brake lever. The cabin also received bolstered sports seats and a newly designed, three-spoke steering wheel with no buttons whatsoever.

But despite being spartan as far as gadgets go, it does feature large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts. While the dashboard and the steering wheel are wrapped in black leather with red piping and stitching, the seats and the door panels are swathed in black and red hide for a sporty, yet premium appearance. Although the no-nonsense cabin will make a lot of gearheads happy, the production car will likely get a completely different interior and include an infotainment system, a multi-function steering wheel, and other convenience features that are common in modern-day sports cars.


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Mazda didn’t have much to say about the new SkyActiv-R engine, but it pointed out that its engineers continued research and development to further evolve the rotary mill after discontinuing the RX-8 in 2012.

"This next-generation rotary engine has been christened SkyActiv-R, a name intended to represent the company’s firm resolve in applying the most advanced technologies and the same high aspirations that yielded SkyActiv Technology towards achieving a breakthrough in addressing the three key issues with rotary engines — fuel economy, emissions performance and reliability," the company added.

This next-generation rotary engine has been christened SkyActiv-R

Thankfully, more details came from Top Gear’s interview with Kiyoshi Fujiwara, who said that the SkyActiv-R will be turbocharged: "I can’t go into details, but we believe turbo is one of the options we can look at for rotary."

He didn’t give any details as to what kind of performance to expect from this new engine, but added that “if we are able to mass produce this car, then maybe a Porsche Cayman is the right comparison, but like the MX-5 we want to make it lighter." With the base Cayman powered by a 275-horsepower flat-six, it’s safe to assume that Mazda is gunning for at least 250 horses. Its curb weight could sit at around 2,700 pounds. All told, the production car should be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in around five seconds.


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Though it’s as breathtaking as the LM55 Vision Gran Turismo, The RX-VISION Concept is arguably Mazda’s most exciting show car yet, mostly because we should be able to buy a production model based on it by the end of 2017. Sure, the mass-produced car will likely feature a milder exterior styling and a more cluttered dashboard design, but the RX-7 badge on the rear fascia and the rotary engine under the hood should keep enthusiasts happy. It remains to be seen whether Mazda will be able to overcome the technical hurdles in providing an efficient and reliable rotary engine anytime soon, but one thing’s for sure: the RX-VISION concept will make a lot of headlines in 2016.

  • Leave it
    • * Rotary engine still under development
    • * Next RX-7 not yet approved for production
    • * Not many official details to run by
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled the rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show*1 today. The rotary engine is a symbol of the company’s “never-stop-challenging” spirit.

2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 653151

RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, KODO design-based proportions only Mazda could envision, and powered by the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine.

Rotary engines feature a unique construction, generating power through the rotational motion of a triangular rotor. Overcoming numerous technical difficulties, Mazda succeeded in commercializing the rotary engine, fitting it in the Cosmo Sport (known as Mazda 110S overseas) in 1967. As the only automaker to mass-produce the rotary engine, Mazda continued efforts to improve power output, fuel economy and durability, and in 1991 took overall victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans with a rotary engine-powered race car. Over the years, the rotary engine has come to symbolize Mazda’s creativity and tireless endeavor in the face of difficult challenges.

While mass production is currently on hold, Mazda has never stopped research and development efforts towards the rotary engine. The next rotary engine has been named SKYACTIV-R, expressing the company’s determination to take on challenges with convention-defying aspirations and the latest technology, just as it did when developing SKAYCTIV TECHNOLOGY.

2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 653152

“I look forward to talking with you more about this vision we have revealed here today at the Mazda stand,” said Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO, Masamichi Kogai. “Mazda will continue to take on new challenges in an effort to build a special bond with our customers and become their ‘one and only’ brand.”

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Press release

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