Mazda: Tokyo-bound concept is rotary-powered

Mazda: Tokyo-bound concept is rotary-powered

Conjecture surrounding Mazda’s Tokyo-bound sports car concept has been rampant since the Japanese automaker first teased it back in September. Rotary: yes or no? Mazda set the record straight Tuesday by confirming that the concept will feature an all-new, SkyActiv-R rotary engine.

“People think rotary can not meet modern Eco demands. The SkyActiv engineers worked on rotary and have it cutting edge tech. It is an essential part of our DNA and it just be passed onto future engineers. It is synonymous with the brand. Some time in the future it will return and be called SkyActiv-R,” Mazda R&D chief Kiyoshi Fujiwara told Autocar.

We also now know that the double-bubble concept will be a two-seater, and that if it enters production–a prospect at which Mazda design boss Ikuo Maeda hinted strongly–it will slot above the MX-5 Miata in the company’s sports car portfolio.

Teasers of the coupe concept revealed a rear profile very similar to that of the last-generation RX-7, sold in the US from 1993-95.

Mazda fueled the rotary rumors early on by confirming that, as part of a “heritage display showing Mazda’s history of convention-defying engineering,” it will bring out a classic 1967 Cosmo Sport to sit alongside the concept in Tokyo.

Launched nearly half a century ago, the Cosmo Sport was Mazda’s flagship sports car and notable for being the world’s first dual-rotor production car and a hugely important part of Mazda’s history. Rumors had circulated that Mazda was still working on the rotary and would launch a successor for the engine’s 50th anniversary in 2017.

Stay tuned to Leftlane for live images and further details from the Tokyo Motor Show later this week.

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