Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mazda brings back the rotary engine! For its latest concept car, at least...

While Mazda is known now for its SKYACTIV suite of technologies, the Japanese carmaker was first recognized for its use of the Wankel rotary engine--a type of internal combustion mill that was last seen in the Mazda RX-8 which was last produced in 2012.

We've always figured that Mazda will eventually bring back the rotary engine and that has finally happened at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, which officially open its doors later this week, as its unveils the rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION sports car concept.

According to the Japanese carmaker, the RX-VISION "represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, KODO design-based proportions only Mazda could envision, and powered by the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine."

While Mazda has ceased to produce a rotary engine for the market, the company reveals that it hasn't stopped its research and development of its next-generation rotary engine, which its has labeled as the SKYACTIV-R. Not surprisingly, this denotes that the successor of the venerable Mazda RX-7 will not only have its signature rotary engine, but it will also feature Mazda's entire SKYACTIV technology suite, from the design of the engine down to the suspension.

"We attempted to create a design that would encapsulate our entire history of sports car development while also representing the ultimate in styling for a front-engine, rear wheel-drive sports car," Mazda President and CEO Masamichi Kogai said at the unveiling of the RX-VISION. "Under the hood is our next-generation rotary engine, the SKYACTIV-R. This name expresses our intention to make breakthroughs in the rotary engine's dynamic and environmental performance with the same high aspirations that made SKYACTIV technology possible. There are still many issues to overcome, but we will continue our development efforts in the spirit of "never stop challenging."

We just wish the production version of the RX-VISION will come out sooner rather than later. The Mazda RX-7 has been gone for 13 years. It's about time its successor has come out.

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