• Dec 6th 2007 at 7:31PM
  • 18
"We've just introduced a special edition of the RX-8" was the response from a Mazda rep when asked when we might get a new RX-7. Not the answer to the question, but we understand that it's all hush-hush when it comes to whatever might be in store on the 2-door, rear wheel drive, not-an-MX-5 tip. A new RX-7 (FE?) will debut within the next three years according to Autocar, and it will be the first production car to carry the design themes presented in Mazda's latest series of concept cars (Nagare, Ryuga, Hakaze, Taiki). The RX-8 will be freed up to evolve into more of a GT if the 7 comes to be. Autocar has had its digital image wizards whip up what they think the car might look like. We hope not, as it looks like what might happen if a Corvette stopped short in front of a Testarossa. In other words, it looks like 1988.
Joining the new "flow"-ing exterior lines will be a thoroughly revised rotary engine. Bumped out to 3.2 liters, the new Wankel will have direct fuel injection and sport forced induction via turbocharging. Reshaped combustion chambers are said to improve thermal efficiency, burn more completely, produce more low end torque, and return better fuel economy (woo-hoo!). We're surprised they didn't switch it's fuel to Unicorn sneezes, as the rest of the improvements seem like a fairy tale outcome for the wimpy, thirsty Wankel we know and love.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      A 3.2L turbo rotary RX-7? Sign me up! If the current Rotary makes 232 hp N/A from 1.3L, that thing must make 500+hp, while weighing under 3,300lbs. Would make for a mean track car, especially if they can keep the price down.
      • 7 Years Ago
      3.2L? isn't the RX8 on 1.3....... wait, a half a dozen people said that before me already, maybe I should refrain, or read comments above mine before i post another.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A 4-rotor 3.2L RX-7 would be beyond any rototary-head's dream. :-)

      Am I the only person expecting the 1.6L 16X Wankel to produce near 300HP N/A? Even if you increased only volume and didn't increase any other technologies to help HP/L, you'd have a 285HP motor (scaling from the 1.3L/232HP motor). Add a turbo and double the size of the motor? We would call that a supercar.

      Honestly, I can't see them detracting from the new 16X. I could, however, see them adding a turbo, just to distinguish it from the RX-8, and bumping it to, what 350HP?

      Keep it light, rotary-powered, and make it handle well, and I'll be pleased with the outcome. :-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      In light of new CAFE requirements are we really likely to see a rotory car in the USA that will probably get low teens for milage?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Taiki's side surfacing is way better than autocar's rendering. They straighten them all out and it looks horrible. Other than that, I think their rendering is pretty good, but I think Mazda will do better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Engine replacements are running about 1%, remember people that don’t have a problem with a car rarely write about it “Hey just wanted to say my car is great, no mechanical problems….” You just don’t see posts like that. I agree that Mazda should have don more testing although I personally would never have bought an entirely new engine design and platform design in its first year. I got a late build 2006 so they had 3+ years to figure it out.

      Whatever Mazda does for the RX7 I hope its really light weight, easiest way to improve fuel economy and speed is to have less to haul around.

      Don’t expect a turbo, If Mazda thought they could reliably do that you would have seen a turboed MS RX8 by now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      With all the reputation the latest rx-7 and rx-8 engine have, i'm suprised mazda is even considering another rotary based car. Nice bragging right for displacement and power but reliability? uh...what is that?
      If anyone wonders, go on rx-8 forums and lookup the numbers of people who had to get their engine replaced even when doing all proper maintenance.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I didn't want to turn this into an argument, and hopefully I won't, but... for as much R&D is put into the rotary, compared to a piston engine (few hours vs. billions of man hours?), I think they're actually very reliable, in addition to the fact that they're more reliable by design.

        I have an '01 sedan (good maintenance record), and an '87 RX-7 N/A, and I worry more about my sedan having problems than my 7.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dan, nice post man ... 'Unicorn sneezes" is hilarious
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know what will take longer, Mazda bringing this to market, or the turbocharged rotary getting into its power band.
      • 7 Years Ago
      >>Joining the new "flow"-ing exterior lines will be a thoroughly revised rotary engine. Bumped out to 3.2 liters, the new Wankel will have direct fuel injection and sport forced induction via turbocharging.

      I have to question if it'll have a 3.2 liter rotary, the Taiki concept had a new rotary engine with 1.6 liters. The current RX-8 only has only 1.3liters.

      Looking at the link it looks like "equivalent" to 3.2liters.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "We're surprised they didn't switch it's fuel to Unicorn sneezes, as the rest of the improvements seem like a fairy tale outcome for the wimpy, thirsty Wankel we know and love."

      Wimpy?

      Thirsty, yes*. Wimpy, no.

      Have you driven an RX-8? That thing isn't wimpy. Just because it isn't a huge piece of Detroit iron that throbs in time to your heartbeat, doesn't mean it is wimpy.

      * Thirsty compared to a similar capacity piston engine. If you compare power outputs, they are pretty much line ball.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Torque is low but once you get it revving, it is just a great rush. So smooth and serious music to your ears.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Horsepower's not bad, torque is pretty low. Don't get me wrong, I love rotaries.

        It also looks like I made an error on the displacement - oops. A 3.2liter wankel would be HUGE, you guys are right on that one!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Unless you care about torque.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the 3.2L refers to the way they measure the displacement...

      It's 1.6L every 360 degrees of eccentric-shaft rotation. Piston engines have their displacement measured for the entire engine, for 1 complete cycle, which is 720 degrees of crankshaft rotation (meaning it takes 720 degrees for every cylinder to fire).

      If you measure how much air/fuel the rotary pulls in for 720 degrees of e-shaft rotation, it's 2x the mazda-rated displacement, so a 13B like in the rx8 is actually pulling in 2.6L every 720 degrees, a 16x (1.6L) is actually pulling in 3.2L of air/fuel every 720 degrees. That is most likely what the article was referring to. It's also part of what makes rotaries so thirsty. Huge combustion chamber and actual displacement compares to a 2.6L piston engine.

      Ken
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