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Mazda RX-9 Rotary Sports Car Won’t Be Ready By 2020

Bad news, rotary fans! The RX-Vision Concept presented two years ago, the bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful one-off that previews the successor of the RX-7 and RX-8, still has a long way to go until it’s ready for production. Previously expected to be launched in 2020 - marking Mazda’s centenary – the RX-9 got pushed back for a straightforward reason: limited financial power.
Mazda RX-Vision Concept (preview RX-9 rotary sports car) 42 photos
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Compared to Toyota and Honda, the Hiroshima-based automaker produces and sells fewer vehicles, translating to more modest funds for research & development. The little bit of cash Mazda has in its coffer is currently used to its fullest potential, as we wait patiently for the all-new Mazda3 to go official.

Previewed by the Kai concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the 2019 Mazda3. The compact-sized hatchback (and sedan) will usher in a lot of newities for Mazda, including SkyActiv-X, SkyActiv-Body Gen 2 and SkyActiv-Chassis Gen 2, next-generation Connect infotainment, and next-generation Kodo – Soul Of Motion design language. Calendar year 2019 will see Mazda further launch a mild-hybrid powertrain, a range-extended electric vehicle, and a fully-electric vehicle. So yeah, that’s a lot of R&D money there.

Speaking to Motoring, senior managing executive officer and development head Kiyoshi Fujiwara put it loud and clear: “We cannot provide the RX-Vision [a.k.a. RX-9] to the market by 2020, because we do not have enough money to invest, to commercialize it.” Fujiwara-san also confirmed that work on the SkyActiv-R rotary engine is going along nicely, though development of the RX-9 hasn’t commenced from the financial reasons presented beforehand.

Why is the Wankel engine the priority, you ask? That’s because the range-extended electric vehicle coming in 2019 and possibly related to the all-new Mazda3 will integrate the SkyActiv-R into its powertrain. In other words, there will be two separate SkyActiv-R displacements: a smaller one for the REx, a larger one for the RX-9.

Fujiwara acknowledges that achieving commercial success with the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-X is the most important thing to do before starting to develop the RX-9. And on the flip side, there will be two versions of the SkyActiv-R used in the RX-9. “Some of the regions we don’t need this small electrification, therefore we can utilize pure rotary engines. We would have two versions - it will be easy,” said the Mazda official, confirming some sort of hybridization is in the offing for the RX-9.

Mild hybrid of fully hybrid, only time will tell.

 
 
 
 
 

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