There have been rumblings on the net about a new Mazda RX-7, which if true is very exciting. The Last UK RX-7 was produced in 1996 whith production in Japan stopping in 2003. The Mazda RX-8 succeeded the RX-7 in 2003 and has been very popular since.
There had previously been speculation of an RX-8 redesign based on one of the recent Mazda concepts called Nagare, recent information suggests the new RX-7 will be based on the Taiki concept (See gallery) and will be powered by Mazda’s new Renesis rotary engine codenamed 16X. Looking at the futuristic Taiki concept I doubt there is much that will remain of the trimaran rear end with its enclosed wheels. The front end also looks a little too “retro muscle car”, but I can see where the general idea is. In my opinion the Mazda Ryuga Concept is possibly the closest to what I’d imagine a concept RX-7 looking like.
The RX-7’s 16X Renesis rotary engine will be a two rotor 1.6 liter (rotary engines have recently only been 1.3 litres) with direct injection and a turbo charger to produce in excess of 250bhp. Mazda claim the increase in displacement will deliver more torque and improved fuel economy with lower emissions. The engine itself is lighter and physically smaller than the current 1.3 liter Renesis engine despite it having more displacement.
I’m looking forward to this one, I’m also glad that Mazda are hanging in there with the rotary engine. The RX-7 has used a rotary engine since its first appearance way back in 1978. I’m not sure how Mazda plan to market the RX-7 alongside the RX-8 which is set to continue, aside from the fact that the RX-7 is expected to be smaller and lighter. Both are four seaters in a 2+2 arrangement, i.e. two adults and two children (or insanely short adults), time will tell how Mazda plans to market these. So long as the new RX-7’s design doesn’t suck I can see it being very popular, in fact, I’d probably buy one.