New Mazda RX-7 To Coincide With Cosmo’s 50th Anniversary: Report

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1999 Mazda RX-7

1999 Mazda RX-7

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With the RX-8 bowing out of production earlier this year, Mazda is now left without a rotary engine in its lineup. The main reason for the engine’s demise are its heavy fuel consumption and subsequent high emissions, which makes it simply not viable in the current market, though Mazda remains faithful to the rotary and hopes to one day see it in at least one of its models again.

Mazda is working on a new rotary engine, and is expected to debut it next year. It will serve as a range-extender for an electric car, which will most likely be based on the next-generation Mazda3.

This is a sad future for an engine that has powered some of the greatest sports and race cars ever known, including a Le Mans winner.

Mazda rotary engine

Mazda rotary engine

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According to one of Mazda’s top engineers, the rotary’s future is much brighter than simply being a range-extender for an eco machine. Speaking with The Motor Report, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, program manager for the Mazda MX-5, confirmed that a new RX-7 sports car was in the works and that it will be launched in 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the Mazda Cosmo Sport, Mazda’s first rotary-powered car and the first volume production car to feature such an engine.

Yamamoto has a very long history with the rotary engine. He was the powertrain manager for the last RX-7, and he also designed the engine in the Le Mans-winning 787B race car.

He revealed that the new RX-7 would feature Mazda’s still-in-development 16X rotary engine, which will retain the previous 13B’s twin-rotor design but will see its displacement increase to 1.6 liters. Peak output will likely come close to 300 horsepower, though without the aid of turbocharging.

Yamamoto explained that special catalytic converters and Mazda’s latest SKYACTIV technology will help the new rotary engine be much more fuel-efficient than previous versions. He also said there would be no hybrid tech on the RX-7 due to its intended purist sports car positioning.

1967 Mazda Cosmo 110S

1967 Mazda Cosmo 110S

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To keep development costs low, the car is expected to utilize a stretched version of the platform underpinning the next-generation MX-5. Overall weight could be less than 2,800 pounds.

In the U.S. the next RX-7 is expected to come as a strict two-seater, while in other markets a 2+2 seating arrangement will be offered.

Sadly, five more years is still a very, very long time to wait.


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Comments (8)
  1. Finally, a pure sports car that's affordable and fast

  2. Remember though, the FD sold for almost $40 grand when new in the U.S. That's the reason they stopped selling it in the 'States in '96, well before production ended in 2002. Let's hope they don't make the same mistake twice.

  3. I will be extremely upset if Mazda cripples both the RX-7 and the RX-9 with a #$%&* Wankel engine. Haven't the last twenty years shown them that these engines are thirsty and unreliable? I don't care how turbine-smooth they are! I think it's a crying shame that such gorgeous cars are ruined by such annoying engines. Just stuff a turbocharged compact V6 in there and I'll seriously consider buying one.

  4. I heard they were testing an electric turbo with this generation of the rotary engine, guess not.

  5. You guys would be surprised how many RX-7 fanboys are out there. I guarantee you that they will sell out each car, especially with all the hype the FD has built up (from drifting, esp. initial D)

    Weighing in only at 2600 lbs and having 270hp, that's not bad. If they can sell a 240hp Honda S2000 for $30k (over ten years, I might add), I'm sure the purists are willing to shell out $40k for this.

  6. Rice you make it sound like the S2000 sucks, when its one of the best N/A cars ever made. Regardless of its horsepower, its so well balanced its practically a F1 car.

    And to Roy, just go buy a Nissan if you want a turbo v6. Mazda is innovating, thinking outside the norm with their rotary motors. It really does matter that the motor stays light when it comes to achieving perfect balance, drive any Rx-7 or Rx-8 and fling it around a corner and youll know what im talking about.

  7. they better do this and make it better than the gtr! ive always loved the rx-7 but i only want a successor if will compete and be better than the old ones. i dont want it to look like the rx-7 i want a japanese supercar out of this.

  8. I didn't mean to make it sound like the S2K sucks, cuz it doesn't. I was merely using it as a comparison in terms of hp and price and trying to tie it in with demand.

    For $40K, I'm sure there'll be some out there who are willing and able to purchase one.

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