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Mazda RX-9 Will Go Hybrid, Sources Say

Mazda’s affair with rotary engines shows the manufacturer’s dedication to this unique propulsion solution.
Mazda RX-Vision Concept 26 photos
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A single line from Mazda kept rotaries in its offer well into the 2000s, and it is the RX range. The last of them was the RX-8, which followed the RX-7 on the market. Its successor is expected to be called RX-9, but the model is still in development.

The latest news regarding it announced an RX-9 model meant for 2020, which will come with a SkyActiv-R rotary engine. While the distinctive engine from Mazda was manufactured in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms, it is still unclear whether the Japanese brand will keep it aspirated or go for forced induction.

While recent trends have made many automakers focus on developing turbocharged engines to follow the downsizing trend, Mazda has always been different from that point of view, so there is always a possibility that the brand will not turbocharge the future SkyActiv-R unit.

Instead, Mazda might employ a hybrid configuration for the next RX model, which is supposedly called RX-9. The brand already owns a trademark for the name, so there should be no problem in launching it in this form. Regarding the hybrid system, rumors claim that Mazda will employ a mild hybrid configuration.

Using a hybrid with a rotary engine would be an interesting idea because the former would allow the car to reduce its emissions without dramatically affecting performance. On the contrary, if done right, as Mazda has accustomed us, performance will be boosted with the hybrid unit.

Among the solutions that could be employed by Mazda for its next hybrid sports car is an electric unit that will be used to start the engine, charge the batteries, and provide an e-power boost.

The concept already exists in Mercedes-Benz’s plans for their upcoming line of straight-six gasoline engines, which will get the 48-volt mild-hybrid system as a standard feature.

If Mazda does employ this solution, the brand could achieve lower CO2 and fuel consumption figures without affecting performance and dilute the spirit of its line of sports cars. Until then, all we can do is wait and see what Mazda brings in its showrooms.

 
 
 
 
 

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