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Archive for October, 2014

2017 Mazda RX-7 Artist's Conception

2017 Mazda RX-7 Artist’s Conception

Although the world may have hoped for a 2016 Mazda RX-7 release, there is still exciting news on the horizon. Suffice it to say that, in Phoenix, Chapman Mazda will be looking forward to two potentially historic events.

In what was arguably the most-celebrated sports car news of the year, “Motoring” recently reported that Mazda will launch a next-generation RX-7 model in May of 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the Mazda rotary engine. News broke in April that Mazda was working on a naturally aspirated rotary coup that employed the exclusive SKYACTIV technology. Now comes the even more exciting news that Mazda may ring in its 100th birthday with the release of the RX-9 supercar in 2020, the same year that Tokyo will host the Olympic games.

Although Mazda has yet to make an official announcement, industry reports predict that the new RX-7 will boast a 450 hp turbocharged rotary engine. Mazda phased out the rotary-powered RX-8 model in 2011, amid grumblings of excess gas and oil consumption and a lack of torque in the mid-range. Still, sports car enthusiasts mourned the loss of the rocket-like production vehicle.

In 1967, Mazda introduced the first rotary engine model, the Cosmo. The grand touring coupe was so named to capture the global fascination with the space race. Mazda touted the Cosmo’s rotary engine as a revolutionary departure from old technology. The inaugural model, 1967’s L10A, boasted a 2-rotor 0810 Series I engine with 110 hp and 982 cc of displacement. It pulled 16.4 seconds on the quarter-mile, with a top speed of 115 mph. Sticker price for the inaugural model was approximately $4,100 USD. The 50th anniversary model RX-7 promises to be just as exciting and forward-thinking as its predecessor.

The 2016 Mazda RX-7 is said to utilize a reworked version of the RX-8 platform, designed to more effectively handle the increased horsepower. “BoldRide” recently posted a series of renderings purported to reveal the new model’s radical Kodo styling. They went on to speculate whether Mazda would appease the purists with a manual gearbox and 3-pedal layout option. Design is reported to be taking place under the direction of chief designer Ikuo Maeda, whose father headed up Mazda design for the original RX-7 model launch in the 1970s. Mazda has admitted it’s been working on a hybrid version of the Skyactiv engine, which experts predict will become a part of this model.

Rumors that Mazda had registered both the RX-7 and RX-9 names originally led to speculation that the new model’s moniker would be one or the other. Imagine the automotive world’s delight when word broke that both might soon make an appearance. As the world focuses on Japan in 2020, it may also get an eyeful of the RX-9 halo supercar. The concept model of the RX-9 may emerge as early as 2017. Whether the two models will be sold simultaneously, with different price points and performance strata, remains to be seen. It goes without saying however that, if the world is fortunate enough to enjoy a 2016 Mazda RX-7 preview, Chapman Mazda on Bell Road will be the best place to catch a first glimpse!