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Mazda Is Committed To SkyActiv-R Engine And RX-9 Rotary Sports Car

It’s been one too many years since the RX-8 went out of production (2012) and since the rumor mill started advocating for the RX-9. Mazda kept the flames burning with snippets of information, culminating with the RX-Vision Concept and the Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 business plan.
Mazda RX-Vision Concept 42 photos
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The RX-Vision, which came out in 2015, is more than just a preview of what the RX-9 would look like once Mazda is ready to put it into production. The most important detail of the concept hides under the hood, with the RX-Vision being powered by the brand-new SkyActiv-R rotary.

In these past two years since the concept made jaws drop at the Tokyo Motor Show, countless patents and more-or-less official information fueled the rumor mill even further, with enthusiasts of the RX series of rotary-powered sports cars hoping that the newcomer will become a reality in 2020.

There are a handful of stages Mazda has to go through by then, including the launch of the SkyActiv-X powertrain and the 2019 battery-powered EV with the SkyActiv-R rotary acting as a range extender. For a small company like Mazda, investment money is limited and more commercially viable applications have more priority than an enthusiast-minded product.

That doesn’t mean Mazda won’t do the RX-9, and further confirmation comes from Julien Montousse. The design director at Mazda North America declared: “When I go to Hiroshima [the automaker’s stomping ground and base of operations], there are some buildings where I’m not even allowed to go, where you know they’re working on something that they truly trust is the future, there’s such passion, and they’re protecting it to a point where I can’t even have access, but I know it’s very promising.”

Mr. Montousse told Motoring that Mazda never stopped working on the rotary engine for the past 15 years, highlighting the “considerable investment behind it.” Though the RX-9 is not on the official roadmap, head of Mazda North America, Masahiro Moro, had this to say about the unofficial roadmap: “We have dedicated engineers for it [the RX-9].”

The bottom line is, have patience and the RX-9 will eventually be added to the lineup as the new halo model, right above the MX-5 Miata and MX-5 RF.

 
 
 
 
 

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