New rotary-engined coupé could rival next-gen Nissan Z-car

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.

Join the debate


12 March 2013

Wasn't the RX-8 the 7's successor hence the RX-9 name being considered? 

12 March 2013

Personally, I would still take and RX7 with a revised engine.

Fantastic looking car, although I don't suppose for one minute it would conform to any modern crash regs.



It's all about the twisties........

13 March 2013

Reliability, thirst for Oil,just two of it's problems, solve them, and, yes, it would be good.

Peter Cavellini.

12 March 2013

I think this would be a great halo car for Mazda and they need to throw all their know how at it and give it fantastic looks to match its postiion as their top dog sports car. Give Nissan and even Honda a run for their money! 


12 March 2013

If Mazda want to pursue this, why don't they develop the rotary engine as part of a range extender EV package, now that might be a range topper worth talking about (because by the time Mazda sort out the RX replacement, EVs will be cool and sell in large numbers). 

12 March 2013

I would love to see a road car taking design cues from the Mazda Furai, which is rotary engined.

13 March 2013

You take the RX8's 2 USPs:

-Rear wheel drive, 4 seat, 4 door sports car

-Rotary engine.

Throw away the first one that everyone liked and keep the second one that made it thirsty on fuel, thirsty on oil and tended to put people off buying one. Surely the other way round makes more sense.

13 March 2013

I only drove an RX-7 once, a late 1980's Series 3. The feel and power delivery was unbelievably smooth, and I remember feeling it was so powerful. It was unlike any other car I had driven to that point; I'd never felt so connected to a vehicle's mechanicals before, and didn't again until I had a Boxster many years later. 

If Mazda can recapture that - and not produce a bloated, overly complicated thing - bring it on. Perhaps base it on the MX-5 platform?    



Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK