Mazda previewed a possible rotary revival at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show with the RX Vision Concept and now rumors on a new production rotary engine have surfaced.
According to a report from Motoring, the production rotary engine will make its debut in 2017 when Mazda celebrates the rotary’s 50th anniversary year. But rather than using the 1.3-liter 13B Renesis rotary from the RX-7, the new production RX model will feature a larger, twin-rotor 1.6-liter 16X engine boasting a twin-800cc rotor setup that will generate at least 450 horsepower. It is also believed that the Japanese automaker is working on a two-stage turbo system that takes advantage of electric turbocharging to provide high performance in the lower rpm band before the exhaust-driven turbo takes over at higher revs.
As a result, the new Skyactiv-R rotary engine should spin beyond 8,000 rpm and be more fuel efficient than Mazda’s previous rotary engine.
As for the sports car itself, expect the RX-9 to have a dual-clutch transmission that will be integrated into the rear axle to improve weight distribution. More importantly, as is evident with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata, the production RX model is looking to use lightweight components to bring its weight to around 3,100 pounds. If it all comes to fruition, the next-generation Mazda RX sports car would be competitive with even Porsche 911 models, but for now, these are just rumors.