1999 Mazda RX-7Enlarge Photo
There are probably few cars hinted at more via official channels than a new generation of the Mazda RX-7, but despite the rumors going back more than half a decade it feels like we’re still no closer to ever seeing a new rotary-powered sports car being launched by Mazda. The last we heard is that Mazda is looking at not one but two rotary-powered sports cars, a new RX-7 as well as an RX-9, and could have both on the market by the end of the decade.
Unfortunately, Mazda design chief Ikuo Maeda has revealed that nothing has been decided yet. He told Automotive News (subscription required) that he hasn’t given up hope of Mazda launching a new RX-7 but explained that it must have a rotary engine otherwise it wouldn’t be an RX.
Mazda has developed a new rotary, the 16X, which it first unveiled in 2007, but despite ongoing development the engine still isn’t quite up to scratch in terms of meeting current emissions rules.
There’s also the issue of potential sales to deal with. Mazda discontinued the RX-8 in 2012 due to falling sales. In its last full year on the market, just 759 examples were sold in the U.S. Its best year was 2004 when 23,690 examples were snapped up.