Return of the rotary: Mazda unveils RX-Vision concept in Tokyo

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mazda RX-Vision concept previews return of rotary engines.

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. Speaking at the company’s Tokyo Motor Show press conference this morning, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai told media that the new concept was “the embodiment of Mazda’s vision for the future.” “This name expresses our intention to make breakthroughs in the rotary engine’s dynamic and environmental performance with the same high aspirations that made SKYACTIV technology possible.” While popular with sports car fans due to their noise and power capabilities, the way rotary engines are designed means they chew through petrol and give off giant amount of Co2 emissions, something the world is moving away from. 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. Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Research and Development, says that Mazda sees the rotary engine as being synonymous with the brand, and its return as a measure to strengthen the company’s image. The next generation rotary engine used in the concept is given the SKYACTIV-R title to signify the company’s modus operandi of breaking convention and to hint at a typical SKYACTIV experience in this car, according to Mazda.

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. Despite stringent fuel efficiency and emissions regulations that would have been obstacles to the return of the rotary, Mazda seems to have found a way to overcome those hurdles. Mazda has produced several memorable sports cars powered by rotary engines, beginning with the Cosmo Sport in 1967, followed by the Familia coupe Rotary. As for the styling, design chief Ikuo Maeda sees the as the opportunity to create a “beautiful and sexy front engine, rear-drive sports car.” In contrast to the soft curves and friendly image of the Mazda MX-5 roadster, the new rotary-powered sports car will be “all business.” The new car will have a slightly different design direction that the current generation models.

The company holds a record for being the only carmaker to ever win the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a rotary-powered race car, which was the Mazda 787B, in 1991. The mode will feature delicate Japanese aesthetic, and not the manga or comics-style design favored by certain other Japanese manufacturers. “It will be beautiful and with a sensual feel. 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. To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

The firm did build a prototype turbocharged RX-8, but that car would have failed to meet European requirements too, and its further development could not be justified on Japanese sales alone. 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.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Return of the rotary: Mazda unveils RX-Vision concept in Tokyo".

* Required fields
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

ICQ: 423360519

About this site