The Mazda RX-9 and an accompanying next-generation rotary engine, dubbed SkyActiv-R, has reportedly been approved for production by the Japanese company’s board.
Japanese magazine Holiday Auto claims that in 2017 Mazda will debut a successor to the RX-7, which went out of production in 2002.
A concept car imagining of the new rotary-powered coupe will make its premiere at the 2017 Tokyo motor show, the magazine claims, and will help Mazda mark the 50th anniversary of its first rotary vehicle, the Cosmo.
This concept car is said to use a new 1.6-liter twin-rotor Wankel engine that’s paired with a single turbocharger. Power output is thought to be around 300kW.
Above and below: 2015 Mazda RX-Vision concept
Compared to last year’s RX-Vision, the 2017 concept will be smaller, lighter, and sportier. Said to tip the scales at just 1300 kilograms, handling will be helped by a 50:50 front-to-rear weight split. Despite this, the interior will be “gorgeous” and leather-lined.
A production version of the car will then be unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo show, with sales beginning in 2020 to celebrate Mazda’s 100th birthday, as well as Tokyo’s hosting of the summer Olympics.
Although the project is informally referred to as RX-7, Mazda has reportedly already trademarked the RX-9 name.
The kicker is that, according to the Japanese publication, the RX-9, or whatever it will be called, will have a starting price of around eight million yen ($105,000).
In comparison, the RX-8 bowed out in Japan in 2012 with the Spirit R special edition, which was priced at 3.25 million yen ($42,500) for the manual model.
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