2017 Mazda RX-7 - (maybe)

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2017 Mazda RX-7 - (maybe)

Post by Dazza4610 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:46 pm

Mazda uses eco power to revive its rotary engine for a future RX-7.

The iconic Mazda RX-7 sports car could be reborn by the end of this decade – because the unique rotary engine that powers it is being revived and for a series of eco cars. Mazda stopped building the RX-8, its last rotary-powered sports-car, earlier this year after it was phased out by tougher emissions regulations.

New global pollution standards have made it too costly for car-makers to build engines for just one model. But Mazda is looking to pair the unique rotary engine design with hydrogen power and use it as a range-extender for an electric vehicle to be released in the coming years – which would then make it available to use in a sports-car such as the RX-7 at a later date.

“I cannot comment on the timing,” Mazda program manager and senior engineer, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, told Carsguide at the launch of the updated Mazda MX-5 on the Gold Coast overnight. “But I think the rotary engine has many opportunities for the future, [as a] hydrogen engine [and a] range extender engine.”

Sharing the engine development cost with these eco models suddenly makes an RX-7 a viable alternative. “Our dream is RX-7, not RX-8. Customers want RX-7,” Yamamoto-san said.

Rotary engines hold a special place in Yamamoto-san’s heart; as a young engineer he was instrumental behind the scenes in the Mazda RX-7 wins at the Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race 20 years ago.

When asked about when the RX-7 might be revived, Yamamoto-san said: “The timing is very difficult. [But] now we are in rotary engine development.”

The Mazda rotary engine will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, the RX-7 will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018, and Mazda as a company will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020. “I cannot comment on timing,” Yamamoto-san said.

Carsguide understands the modern-day RX-7 – if it were to go ahead – would be based on the new generation Mazda MX-5 underpinnings (which in turn will be shared by Alfa Romeo) due to be unveiled in 2014.

Given that it takes three years to design, develop and engineer a new model, 2017 would likely be the earliest arrival date for a new RX-7. Mazda built 811,634 two-seater RX-7 sports cars from 1978 to 2002, according to automotive history websites.

The four-seater RX-8, which had rear-hinged “suicide” doors on either side, notched up 192,194 sales between 2003 and April 2012, but was not deemed successful enough to continue with a new model.

Japanese car maker Mazda is well known for rotary engines but the technology was invented by a German engineer Felix Wankel, who first patented the unique design in 1929. After unsuccessful attempts at production, Wankel sold the licence to the technology to Mazda and German car maker NSU (the predecessor to the Audi brand), who used it one model, the Ro80.

NSU stopped making the rotary-engine Ro80 in 1977 but Mazda had almost continuous production from 1967 (when it fitted a rotary engine to the Cosmo sports car) until April 2012, when the RX-8 was phased out.

Coming full circle, two years ago German car maker Audi announced it was considering using a rotary engine as a range extender in an experimental electric car.


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Re: 2017 Mazda RX-7 - (maybe)

Post by NoRecoil on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:42 am

Not RX7

Rx9


And mazda have been building Hydrogen powered rotors


Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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Re: 2017 Mazda RX-7 - (maybe)

Post by JamieWhincup#1 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:23 am

looks to much like a FT86/BRZ/FRS from that picture.
This on the otherhand is much better Smile


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Re: 2017 Mazda RX-7 - (maybe)

Post by Dazza4610 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:26 am

JamieWhincup#1 wrote:looks to much like a FT86/BRZ/FRS from that picture.
This on the otherhand is much better Smile


The first thing I thought of when I saw this picture was...



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