There have been numerous reports and official hints that Mazda could launch a rotary-powered sports car to either celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first rotary-powered model in 2017 or its own centenary in 2020. Now, the automaker’s CEO has put an end to the speculation.
Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said he has no plans to launch a new rotary-powered sports car, quashing any hopes of a revival of the RX-7 or launch of a new RX-9 flagship.
"We don't have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan," Kogai replied when asked about a new RX. "If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products."
Instead, Mazda will focus on shoring up its finances and investing its limited resources on improving its fuel-saving Skyactiv technologies as well as launching models in higher volume segments.
Mazda has just launched new versions of its 2 subcompact and MX-5 sports car, and at next week’s 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show it’s set to introduce a new CX-3 subcompact crossover as well as updated versions of its CX-5 and 6 models. Beyond these, Mazda will also have to renew its 5 and CX-9 models, which are yet to receive the Skyactiv treatment.
Mazda will also have to invest heavily in much more fuel-efficient technologies or risk falling behind rivals, which have much bigger R&D budgets. Kogai revealed that the automaker is working on next-generation Skyactiv technology that could debut around the end of the decade. Dubbed Skyactiv 2, engineers are targeting economy gains of around 30 percent compared with current levels. One area of focus is said to be sparkless ignition tech for gasoline engines, otherwise known as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI).