Car video reviews:

Mazda RX-8 Successor Rumored Again. Will Have 300 HP Skyactiv Rotary Engine

It seems that despite its many flaws, the rotary engined Mazda sportscar is so cool people will not let it die. A new report from a British magazine suggests once more that the RX-8 will have come back in 2017, not as a hybrid as was claimed before, but as a pure driver's car.
Mazda RX-8 "Spirit R" 1 photo
This is, of course, not the first time that "Mazda insiders" have been claimed to leak out such information, but we're hoping Autoexpress' report is accurate, since it claims a traditional coupe, like the old RX-7, is planned. This is hoped will make the car lighter and more nimble, also helped by the rear-wheel drive setup and the power increase to 300 hp.

Of course, making the car part is not complicated for Mazda. They're currently working on a brand new MX-5 – but the engine poses some pretty serious challenges. Wankel rotary engines are light and produce a lot of power per liter of displacement. However, their fuel consumption, emissions and thirst for lubricant are legendary. To fix these problems, Mazda is going to use its SkyActiv engine family technology on the Wankel, giving it higher compression ratios, which in turn will result in cleaner detonation.

This isn't the first time that a new rotary engined car was rumored and it will probably not be the last either. The reported 2017 launch date coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Cosmo.

For those of you who don't know of it, the Mazda Cosmo is the world's first mass produced rotary powered sportscar with about 1,500 units made between 1967 and 1972. They were not for export and are some of the most sought after classic cars in Japan. Early models had 110 hp from their 1-liter engines, followed by the 130 hp Series II.

Of course, the rotary powered sportscar everybody thinks about is the RX-8, the last of its breed. Production of that car lasted from 2003, up until 2012 when the final edition "Spirit R" model you see in the picture above seemingly marked the end of an era.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories