Mazda brings back the rotary engine with RX-Vision

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mazda shows off new RX-Vision rotary engine concept.

Named the RX-Vision, the car is going to be the basis for a new rotary powered sports car, the RX-9, and while no firm date was announced, rumours are suggesting a 2017 reveal of the final product.THE rebirth of the Mazda RX-7 may have stolen the limelight at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, but as ever it was the weird on wheels that captured most attention. The Mazda rotary engine will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, the RX-7 will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018, and Mazda as a company will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020. A quick background on what I mean here: Rotary engines — also known as Wankel engines — had long been deemed impractical, as their triangular design presented many issues like excessive oil consumption.

In Frankfurt it was a sleek sedan, but Mercedes knows its market and it know the Japanese love box-shaped cars (boxes are the most efficient use of space and also maximise strict Japanese size restrictions). The company used the same team to create standard petrol engines in its range that don’t rely on turbochargers, yet still give great fuel economy and decent power. What we can really take from this all this hype is that the grille on future Mercedes cars will be a bit bigger and the instrument display a little higher, possibly above the steering wheel. Pure Mazda fans have always acknowledged the older RX-7 car, with its turbocharged rotary engine as the last true rotary car, so it will be interesting to see whether the SkyActiv team will take that route or stick to their non-turbocharged specialities. The rotary engine, which can pack a hefty power punch from a relatively tiny size, perhaps hit its peak of popularity with the brand’s RX-7 sports car.

No we don’t know what the name means either, but this is Suzuki’s crazy way of saying we are working on a new version of the Suzuki Carry delivery van. With the RX-Vision, Mazda indicates that the ending of the rotary story has not yet been written. “Mazda hopes to one day make [the RX-Vision] into reality,” the company said in a press release.

With a 1.5-litre engine which powers the rear wheels “for driving fun”, it’s already being dubbed a “Toyota 43” because it is half a Toyota 86. That said, if the RX-Vision were to, say, be hybridized and made to compete with the likes of the Acura NSX and other ‘entry-level’ supercars, it could have a bolstering effect to the brand image.

All we really know for now is that Mazda is at least not yet done with refining its Kodo design language, which has graced the face of many cars, including the CX-3 compact crossover that we like ever so much.

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