Mazda has revealed that it is discussing the possibility of developing a successor to the RX-7.

The new sports coupé would sit atop the Mazda range and rival future versions of the Nissan Z-car. With just two seats, the new car would not repeat the Mazda RX-8's four-door coupé layout, but it would retain the same front-engined, rear-drive layout.

It would once more be powered by a Wankel rotary engine, which would initially be naturally aspirated. Later versions could feature turbocharging, providing the reliability was proven and economy and emissions targets could be met.

No plans are confirmed as of yet, with Mazda looking to see how the economic situation develops before investing in a high-end sports car.

Mazda is, however, keen to see a new version of its rotary engine in production within five years. "We have a history of doing things a little differently," said Jeff Guyton, president and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe. "The rotary is clearly part of Mazda's soul."

It's likely that the new iteration of the RX-7, which could be called the RX-9, would use this engine.