The Mazda RX might not be dead: You can save it

Mazda RX Vision Tokyo concept Photo 1

‘Top Gear’ sat down with Mazda design director Kevin Rice and talked RX

Mazda design director Kevin Rice sat down with “Top Gear’s” Vijay Pattni at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to talk Mazda’s RX Vision concept, which debuted at the last Tokyo motor show. In true RX fashion, the Mazda concept was designed with rotary power in mind, but the company lacks a current production rotary engine to drop under the hood.

Rice told “Top Gear,” “The height of the bonnet was done specifically to package a certain type of engine. Nobody else would have developed the rotary engine. We thought we could get something good out of it, which we did, but we never stopped developing it. We didn’t just leave it with the RX-8.”

Rice later tells “Top Gear” that the concept car is nothing more than a design study, which slightly dashes hopes of an RX-9 in the near future. However, the overwhelmingly positive reception the concept received at the Italian concours might steer the RX ship into production.

According to Rice, Mazda has continued rotary development throughout the years, despite its absence in the Japanese automaker’s assembly line. Is it possible the internet could rescue of one of history’s coolest engines, in the same way it resurrects vintage sodas and TV shows? As rotary fans, we hope so.

8 Comments

  1. A longated compression stroke with offset exhaust might help with gas mileage and instead of 2 rotors,I think 3 or 4 inline rotors firing instead of 2 would get rid of power loss at lower gear reaves!

  2. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, bring back the RX, my 1st new to me car was a 1983 GSL RX7. Since then I have owned every RX version (FB, FC, FD, Rx8). Nothing beats the balance and power delivery of these, maybe not a muscle car but certainly the best for tackling your favorite backroad. These are pure automotive bliss.

  3. This engine has history and traditions amongst every rotary head all over the world for generations. You make road where nobody even dare to look and You should be proud of this! I do believe in Rotary! I do believe in Mazda! You should believe in us too, so let’s walk through this road together, keeping the Rotary spirit alive! Otherwise, what place the world would be without all the ZoomZoom smiles!

  4. I owned a second hand RX7 many years ago; now, for lack of alternative, looking to buy an RX8 manual transmission as a second car.
    Was looking to buy a new car with manual transmission, is so hard to find a manual shift nice car these days, when the sales person told me an RX8 has manual transmission I immediately gave up the idea to buy the “new” car.

    An RX9 would be sweeter!

  5. I’ll put down my deposit right now – I’ll commit if Mazda does.
    Mazda desperately need a flagship vehicle to keep them ‘cool’
    The MX-5 is fine but not quite the kudos of a rotary.
    Very few car manufacturers are in the position Mazda are due to the RX series supported by the MX-5. However, this will fade away and, heaven forbid, Mazda will be just another Toyota of Honda.
    Sure, the M3 and M6 are great cars and the CX is a great softroader but there’s no flag carrier there.
    Ford now bring the Mustang into Australia and we expect GM to start shipping in the Camaro – this will give both brands a boost to compensate from ceasing local production of Falcons and Commodores respectively.
    But this will be nothing provided that Mazda produce another rotary.
    Mazda need it – we want it and I’ll place a deposit today 🙂

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