Citing Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine, Australia’s Motoring reports that Mazda’s board of directors has formally approved the design, engineering and production for a successor to the Mazda RX-8. Likely to be called the Mazda RX-9, it will go on sale worldwide in 2020 and will help celebrate Mazda’s 100th birthday.
Expect a new concept in the form of a prototype to bow at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, just in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the first rotary model. The production model will likely debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
According to Holiday Auto, the Japanese automaker’s next-generation rotary engine will use a pair of 800cc rotors, displacing 1.6 liters. Turbocharging is almost a guarantee, and the rotary engine might even use diesel-style, HCCI compression ignition. Power output is expected to be around 400 horsepower, but like the MX-5 Miata, Mazda will focus on keeping it lightweight for an impressive power-to-weight ratio. It is believed the company is targeting 2,866 pounds or less.