Mazda exec hints at production RX for 2017
Mazda has dropped a few more hints pointing to production plans for the RX-Vision concept.
The company did not disclose technical details when the concept was unveiled last month in Tokyo, however chief executive Masamichi Kogai recently suggested a production car could ride on an adaptation of the MX-5 Miata’s platform.
When asked for more details on the RX-Vision’s modernized SkyActiv-R rotary powerplant, an unnamed executive has told Motoring that “you’ll have to wait until 2017 … that’s our rotary’s 50th anniversary year.”
Citing other sources “close to Mazda,” the latest report claims engineers are currently focused on a hybrid turbocharger configuration for the ’16X’ rotary engine, powered by dual 800cc rotors and allegedly capable of producing around 450 horsepower.
The setup is expected to take advantage of an electrically-driven compressor capable of spooling up at low rpm, paired with a traditional exhaust-driven turbocharger that takes over as the tach climbs higher. The electric motor is said to be powered by Mazda’s i-ELoop capacitor technology, first introduced in the Mazda6.
The sources also suggest a production RX model will integrate its transmission on the rear axle, improving weight distribution. Lightweight construction materials, including aluminum and carbon-fiber, are expected to keep overall heft below 3,086 pounds.
Mazda is believed to have reassigned engineers from the MX-5 Miata project to the new RX model. The comments pointing to 2017 could represent the first public debut of the production car, rather than a production window. Other reports have suggested the new RX could arrive on the market by 2020, coinciding with the brand’s 100th birthday.