Mazda today unveiled the RX-Vision concept car at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and it points to the return of the rotary engine. The low-slung sports car is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat coupe that showcases the latest version of Mazda's Kodo design language.
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Kodo design eschews character lines for sculpted surfaces that create reflections that suggest motion. To show off these reflections, Mazda's display uses very little light that often highlights only certain aspects of the car. That's cool from a design standpoint, but it makes it hard to show every curve and line in pictures. You can see, however, that the car's low, wide stance, long hood, short rear deck, and pushed back cabin make it immediately recognizable as a sports car. Mazda says the hood sits low thanks to the packaging efficiency of the rotary engine. The wheelbase is 106 inches long and overall length is about 173 inches.
Inside, the RX-Vision has a cockpit feel with leather trim in a saddle motif. The pronounced center tunnel hints at a sturdy structure with a central backbone.
Mazda RX-Vision ConceptEnlarge Photo
Mazda revealed it has been working on a new rotary engine since the RX-8 was discontinued in 2012, and this is the first car to use such an engine. Mazda calls it SkyActiv-R, and says that the SkyActiv moniker represents the company's resolve in solving the three main issues with rotaries: fuel economy, emissions performance, and reliability. No horsepower or torque numbers were offered, and Mazda wouldn't even share if the engine is turbocharged. That leads us to believe a rotary engine is likely to return, but not for quite some time and perhaps not in a production version of this sexy coupe.
Positive feedback on the concept could lead Mazda to approve it for production. We'll be watching carefully.
For more from the Tokyo Motor Show, head to our dedicated hub.