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When the newest issue of Road & Track arrived in our mailbox, we were impressed that the 60th anniversary issue was sport compactalicious. The cover sports the new Mitsubishi EVO X alongside a photochopped '08 Impreza STI, and the inevitable shootout consists of the Civic Si, MazdaSpeed3, MINI Cooper S, Sentra SE-R Spec V and the VW GTI.

What was more interesting was one of the subtitles proclaiming that a new RX-7 is in the works by Mazda and that Toyota is (finally) beginning to develop an honest-to-God sports car based off the Lexus IS platform.

As for the RX-7, R&T's inside sources say that due to slowing sales of the RX-8, the engineers at Mazda are hard at work improving the 13B rotary's output. If (when?) the new RX-7 debuts, it will be powered by this new and improved Renesis, supposedly sporting an electrically assisted supercharger, much like the one found on the RX-8 Hybrid that debuted in Tokyo in 2003.

Additionally, the rumored RX-7 will grab styling cues from the Kabura concept (pictured) that was unveiled at Detroit in 2006 and will be built on the platform that underpins the MX-5/RX-8. Whether or not the next gen. 7 will come in a 2+2 configuration remains to be seen, but regardless, don't expect anything until the end of the decade.

[Source: Road & Track]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love rotary engines, but the mpg and price of the RX-8 pushed me toward a GTI when I recently bought a new car. I'm getting tired of every car company making 30k coupes, I hope Mazda doesn't do the same with the Kabura/RX-7/whatever. My GTI is plenty fast, there's no need to get involved in any horsepower war. It's unnecessary and reduces mpg. My GTI cost 22k, get rid of the rear seats, extra speakers, etc. and a small 2-seat coupe shouldn't have to cost or weigh more.

      As far as the comments about how a new RX-7 needs to have this much hp and be this fast to live up to it's name: these people need a history lesson. Only the 3rd gen RX-7 was an all-out performance car. The previous 2 generations were simple, small, fun-to-drive sports cars that succeeded not because they were faster than everything else, but because they were fun and cheap. Remember, that the all-out 3rd gen didn't sell very well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Rocket Punch, your prowess as being an uninformed ass is utterly unchallenged.

      First it's "lose", not "loose", you "looser"...

      Second, the article you linked to is three years old. How about something more recent?

      Third, you continue to compare a four-seat, four-door saloon with a two-door, two-seat roadster. If you didn't think they were comparable (Mazda doesn't), then you wouldn't be comparing them. You brought the S2K into this. (Despite having half the seats, doors, and trunk space, it only weighs 190 lbs less! PORKER!)

      Fourth, all sports car makers strive for perfect 50/50 balance. 49/51 is very good, but it's not ideal. Any deviation from 50/50 points to a compromise somewhere. The surprise with the Honda is the majority of the weight is over the rear wheels, despite being a front-engine/ rear-drive car. If you have to compromise, that's a good one, but it's still a compromise.

      Fifth, the RX-8 is a money-maker for Mazda. Sure, it's not *the* money-maker, but it's no dud either. They have exceeded expectations for sales.

      Tell you what, Punch Drunk. Go to a race track near you on any given racing weekend. Count the cars on the track. Tell me how many are Mazdas and how many are Hondas or any other make. Mazda *OWNS* the track because they make cars that PERFORM and are FUN TO DRIVE. The largest national racing class right now is Spec Miata. There are so many friggin' Miatas at the track on a race weekend the group I race with had to split them into TWO GROUPS. How many S2000's are usually out? MAYBE one... The day there are more S2000's...or ANY HONDA... on the track than Miata's, then we'll talk. Meanwhile, shut the hell up.

      • 8 Years Ago
      By the way, MB (among many: http://www.rxtuner.com/farticles/RotaryHistory,Part2.pdf) did try to develop the rotary engine and showcase it in their 1969 C111 Concept. They then swiftly dropped it and turn to diesel development due to the excessive fuel consumption and emission problems with the rotary.

      Mazda had to compromise the basic rotary design so much just to so it will pass emission laws and still sucks on fuel consumption. It is simply a design long since abandon by everyone else as a viable passenger car engine. The rotary is nothing more than a marketing tool for Mazda.

      • 8 Years Ago
      #Rocket Punch

      Don't be a rotary hater.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, that's is truly ugly. I think Mazda has been hiring too many graduates of the Hot Wheels School of Design.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If Mazda can improve the fuel economy with DI and up the HP with an electric supercharger while reducing weight by 200lbs the RX7 will be a great driver's car.

      Anything but a two-seater will canabilize RX8 sales even further. Unless its a glorified 2+2 like many coupes.

      This should also be the top notch starting at 30+k so they have some room to use more aluminium or even come carbon fiber panels.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The RX-8 was a gorgeous car from almost every angle, but its profile was horribly scarred by the seams of those stupid suicide doors. They give an otherwise attractive vehicle a tacked-on and clunky appearance that punishes the eyes. Both the RX-8 and Saturn Ion coupe would have been infinitely more attractive if they had lacked such doors. Yes, they're practical, and yes, they make backseat access much easier, but if you consciously slap a second set of doors on a coupe, you're missing the point of a coupe: to be stylish from every angle. Sometimes to be good-looking, a vehicle has to be hard to get into...it happens, but it's a small price to pay. It is my sincere hope that the next RX - arguably Mazda's flagship, not receive these silly doors next time around. You can't have your coupe cake and eat it too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm with the others.

      Give me a RX chassis with the Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6 engine and I'll buy it in a heartbeat. That or the Kabura concept.

      I like the looks, I like Mazda (have a Mazda3 in the stable), but will NOT buy a car with a rotary engine.

      I guess I'll have to continue to look elsewhere for my sport coupe fix...
      • 8 Years Ago
      The moller sky car is going to use a rotary engine. 4 actually.

      If they ever get the thing working.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can you at least make it as good looking as the original RX-7, Mazda? 'Cause the current RX-8's got nothing on that car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can any of the people who say that mazda is using the rotary engine as
      a marketing tool specify how??? It seems that everybody here is saying
      if rotary is so good why isn't anybody else using it, and rotarys seem
      to have a pretty bad rep, so how is that working as a marketing tool?
      Second, mazda has three excellent sporty cars WITH piston engines,
      MX-5, Mazdaspeed 3 and 6, and the 6 compares quite well with the old
      EVO (nobody has driven the new one) and Impreza. They do not need to
      put tje same engine in the RX8 body, i doubt it that anybody who says
      they should will actually consider buying it. If you want a piston
      engine sooo bad, 99.99% of the cars out there have one, including the
      other mazdas. And for those who point out the fuel economy from just 1.3 a liter engine, please compare the hp per liter for a normally aspirated engine, and then make your statements. Mazda makes rotary engines for the people who actually
      want one, and judging by the sales of the RX-8, there are plenty of
      such people. Not zillions, but still plenty. Thats why it's called a
      niche product. And for those who haven't made the effort tho see what
      is the point of a rotary and that mazda has been working for decades
      to eliminate their drawbacks, i post a quotation from wikipedia,
      check the disadvantages for yourself (or post them here if

      Wankel engines are considerably simpler and contain far
      fewer moving parts, no valves or complex valve trains, no need for
      connecting rods, a conventional crankshaft, crankshaft balance
      weights, etc. The elimination of these parts not only makes a Wankel
      engine much lighter (typically half that of a conventional engine
      with equivalent power), but it also completely eliminates the
      reciprocating mass of a piston engine with its internal strain and
      inherent vibration due to repeated acceleration and deceleration,
      producing not only a smoother flow of power but also the ability to
      produce more power by running at higher rpm.Due to a 50% longer
      stroke duration compared to a four stroke engine, there is more time
      to complete the combustion. This leads to greater suitability for
      direct injection.There is no empty stroke.Needs no enrichment for
      full load (wot; wide open throttle).As another advantage, the shape
      of the Wankel combustion chamber and the turbulence induced by the
      moving rotor prevent localized hot spots from forming, thereby
      allowing the use of fuel of very low octane number or very low
      ignition power requirement without preignition or detonation, a
      particular advantage for hydrogen cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Rocket Punch....OWNED!!!!!
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