The long-awaited, rotary-powered Mazda RX-9 has reportedly been signed off by Mazda’s board and is set for launch in 2020.
According to Motoring.com.au, a prototype RX-9 is expected to debut at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show next year, with the production version following at the same show in 2019. A 2020 launch would coincide with Mazda's centenary celebrations.
Hope that Mazda might finally replace the much-loved RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars started to grow when it showed the RX-Vision concept (pictured here) in Tokyo last year. Since then, Mazda has played its cards close to its chest, but has trademarked the RX-9 name and approved the car’s design, engineering, and production according to the reports.
It’s thought the RX-9’s styling will be less radical than the RX-Vision, but will share its classic long-nose, short-tail proportions, albeit within a shorter length. The front is likely to more closely resemble the rest of the current Mazda range, with a higher bonnet line to satisfy pedestrian protection rules. Should still be suitably low and sleek, though.
The new-generation, SKYACTIV-R rotary engine will be shared with the concept, however. It’s thought to be a 1.6-liter twin-rotor unit (800 cubic centimeters each) featuring compression ignition and turbocharging to produce around 400 horsepower (300 kilowatts). In a car weighing less than 2900 pounds (1300 kilograms), performance should be, err, ample. A transaxle gearbox should ensure even weight distribution and pin-point handling, too.