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Click above for a high-res gallery of past Mazda RX-7s

We've been hearing rumblings about a Mazda RX-7 revival for so long, we've almost gotten numb to the idea of a next-generation, rotary-powered coupe. But Mazda's new design chief, Ikua Maeda, has given us a desperately needed hope injection when he told Autocar that initial sketches have been completed and he's campaigning Mazda execs to bring the new sports car to market.

The reborn RX-7 will likely be powered by Mazda's next generation Renesis 16X rotary engine, most recently seen in the Mazda Taiki concept, displacing 1.6-liters and making use of a longer stroke, direct injection and aluminum side housings. Outputs haven't been disclosed, but it's safe to assume the new mill will put out around 250 to 300 horsepower and a sizeable increase in torque, while boosting fuel economy and reducing emissions (and hopefully burning less oil in the process).

Maeda says the new RX-7 will move further upmarket than its predecessors, with a focus on higher interior quality going forward. Fine by us, but we hope a hardcore, track-focused version is in the cards as well. And if Maeda is to be believed, we could see the fruits of his labors in concept form as early as next year.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      5:44pm (10/20/2009) said of the RX8 .....A fantastic chassis hampered by compromised practicality... in limbo between a true coupe and a true 4-door,

      I would remind him that in length the 4 passenger RX8 is the same as a 4 passenger 911 Carrera at 175.6 inches, the RX 8 is only 18 inches longer than a Miata, and just 3 inches longer than a 2 passenger Cayman. I think the easy access of 2 small doors to the rear seating is a design idea he just can't come to grips with. Perhaps if the RX 8 rear access doors are eliminated he will forgo the comparisons to 4 door sedans.

      We should all also remember that the RX7 was sold in most of the world as a 2+2, in the US the +2 seating was a dealer offered option. The RX8 is a fully developed direct successor to the RX 7.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where does this leave the RX-8?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I doubt it will happen but in my make believe lil mind Mazda could off set the cost of development for the 16x by having both a Rx-7 and Rx-8 model in its line up. Mazda remember is for some odd reason extremley tight lipped about future product line up and what we always hear is mostly hearsay. The Rx-7 will cover those that want a light weight sports coupe for track days. That will leave the Rx-8 for those that want a daily driver that at times wishes to take it to the track.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah RX7 just has so much name recognition and nowadays I think companies who are doing okay just want to stick with what's safest.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Mazda says the new RX-7 will move further upmarket than its predecessors,"

      Translation, I will not be able to afford it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      TURBO please
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't these people learn anything? The reason the last-gen RX-7 (and its contemporaries like the Supra and MR-2) fell off the map in the late 90's is because they went too far upmarket.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        Every time I hear "upmarket" I cringe.

        See new BMW Z4 as a prime example...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Upmarket and Mazda not wanting to hassle with OBD-II.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same thing. the prices on the last generation RX7 and Supra and 300ZX were just too high and that's what killed them.

        The reason the 350Z & RX8 did so well is that they were affordable, people in their mid to late 20s could afford to buy these cars.

        I don't see this happening.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is awesome! Would be very nice if they add the turbo and take the pop-up headlights back because that would be a good styling element for the RX-7 and keep the car's weight down and price and Mazda will have a winner!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unfortunately, we won't see pop-up headlights due to weight and pedestrian safety restrictions. It's a shame - I still don't think any of the visible lights look as good as pop ups...
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's talking about elevating the whoel brand by bringing in better materials

      "pushing the brand upmarket by addressing the quality of the company's interiors."

      not shoving the RX-7 up to Porsche dollars
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I read the title, I got so happy I think my heart skipped a beat. Now if only Toyota and Honda would follow this pattern.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Providing it's a proper coupe and not some rubbish like the Rx8, I reckon it will be quite good.

      The oil consumption isnt the biggest deal in the world, many performance engines use oil (admittedly not so many US engines) but the Renesis can run on low quality fuel, which almost cancels out any extra expense spent on oil.

      I hope the mpg improves a lot though!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The oil consumption is the most overblown issue i have ever seen. I dump in a quart halfway between oil changes. And I change the oil every 5000 miles. That is basically 3 quarts a year. I need to fill up the car with washer fluid more often than adding oil.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The first gen was the best driving car. Like the Miata it just had perfect balance even though it had less power than the next generations. The car is just pure driving pleasure and it is just so simple.

      The second gen GT-X was amazing though. I still think it is the best looking RX car, hits the 1980s look perfectly. The second gen turbo cars have too many rotor problems and most GT-X models were trashed, like EVOs today.

      The third gen became a supercar that was out of reach for most people. It is an amazing piece of technolgy Mazda needs to make the next RX-7 a budget performance car like the Genesis Coupe. $25k for a 250hp RX-7 would be perfect.
        • 5 Years Ago
        >> Sorry but what the hell is an RX-7 GTX?

        Uh, it's kinda like this:


        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry but what the hell is an RX-7 GTX? Granted I'm in Canada where a trim level was changed in name but as far as I know that just means that the GX was the SE in the states. Then there's the luxury trim GXL and the Turbo II. GTX was a moniker reserved for the rally-bred 323.

        And the 1st gen, while awesome doesn't even have rack and pinion steering. So yeah it was a rotary miata back in the day but now, it's not exactly crazy good. Still fun as hell though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boxerfanatic, have you ever driven a 3rd generation Rx7?

      I have driven a BoxterS, and had some time with Carrera 4s's at lights occasionally on a drive home from work. While I love the sound, doesn't quite have the umph of RX7 and its 1.3 L twinturbo'd engine. I love the CaymanS and was seriously considering buying one until I drove it and it was not my old RX7. True it does't have alot of torque but it has enough to have kept my Carrera 4S friend from trying to light race me after work, after we had some fun several times and he usually lost.
      I do not understand why you would want to put a heavy engine in this car. What it has, while not a beast, holds it own.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        But it won't necessarily be turbo. However I think direct injection could be the excuse Mazda is looking for to boost these from the factory again. Still, I'm thinking a factory turbo is dubious even though Mazda would clearly love to do it if emissions standards would let them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. And the new engine will be even lighter. Kick. Ass.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I always keep hearing RX-7 revival this that but I remember clearly when the RX-8 came out it was the new new RX that moved it up market....so essentially the RX never died just like the Nissan Z went from the 350 to the 370Z, oxymoron to hear they are bringing back the RX-7 when it had already moved up level to the 8...... am I missing something hear????
        • 5 Years Ago
        Once again, your posts echo my own sentiments, boxer. However putting a V6 wouldn't happen as they wouldn't fit. The only piston engines that would fit would have to be boxers I would think which would be fine by me. There's just no way to put a V6 in an RX and keep it looking and handling like a rotary car. A flat-4 with a turbo could definitely work though and still would fit a Mazda identity of being a bit different and sporting. Best of all, it would be low so the issues of needing a huge lump of a front end would be dealt with giving potential owners a piston or rotary engine option.
        • 5 Years Ago

        You KNOW I would love a boxer engine in a mazda chassis.

        But a Mazda RWD chassis has a narrow engine bay, and that will not work at all for a boxer. They would have to design a new engine, or license one from Subaru... which probably won't happen. AND they would have to widen the chassis rails a LOT to fit it between them.

        A V6 or even a tiny V8... especially a reverse-flow top-mount-turbo arrangement would probably fit between the chassis rails better, but it would require a slightly higher cowl line than a rotary or boxer car would require. The body is probably easier to change than the chassis rails that the suspension mounts to, and Mazda/Ford already has the Duratech 35 and 37, and ecoBoost engines in inventory.

        I only suggest them in addition to the rotary, to quell the issues that others always tend to bring up about rotary engine reliability, and torque curve issues. I figure by making the chassis modular enough to fit a V engine or a rotary engine, and offering the choice of both, it would make the cars more appealing to a wider audience, and fill Mazda's bank accounts better, to continue to afford to offer the Rotary option.

        Offering a 3.7 liter V6, or a 3.5TT V6 might get some attention in a car competing between the 370Z and GT-R nissans, from people who would otherwise dismiss a rotary car, but the rotary version would also be there.

        If Mazda can make a daily-reliable, high power, high torque, 100,000+ mile rotary engine... I am all for it. If the rotary is going to be more temperamental than that, then I think they should offer an engine choice between pistons and rotors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        RX8 is too compromised. Bigger than a 2-door needs to be, less practical than a 4 door can be.

        Nothing can fit in the trunk, and the reverse doors trap people between them, when open in a parking stall.

        There needs to be three cars in their sports car lineup.

        MX/RX5 = Miata Roadster line, including turbo 4-piston, and rotary engine options. $20-35K). I would also perhaps suggest a 1+2 or 3+1 seat arrangement coupe, like Kabura based on it, to offer a coupe in a segment far below RX7's price point and performance level, aimed at the Toyota/Subaru FT86. (possibly split off from Miata branding, and called MX/RX3)

        MX/RX7 = High-performance 2-seat, 3-door coupe. Fast and light. just undercutting Porsche Boxster/Cayman price points, but a huge value. It should undercut the GT-R as much as the GT-R undercuts other $100K cars, but be lightweight, 2WD, and sleek, none of which GT-R is. More grace and balance than 370Z, in both performance and looks. Rotary, V6, and V6TT/DFI engine options (longitudinal mazda-branded EcoBoost)

        MX/RX9 = High value, sleek, RWD sport sedan, turbo 4, V6, and rotary engine options (maybe mazdaspeed V6TT/DFI special edition)
        4 traditional doors, and a lift-back, 4 bucket seats. Think 1/10th price, ~8/10ths scale junior AM Rapide format of a car, 32-3400lbs max. Not the limbo-resident RX8 that we have now. $30-45K. This would take over and elevate mazda's sport sedan mantle from Mazda 6 that has abandoned it as a FWD car with very little availability of a manual gearbox, or a hatchback in the US market.

        THAT would be a lineup. Have their Mazda# and CX# type vehicles be their mainstream and sporty front drivers for the folks, then have their MX/RX# vehicles be their RWD chassis enthusiast grade hardware, along with the niche Mazdaspeed3 crossing over to the enthusiast side of the line.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hmm...good call. I just wonder if with a big lump of an engine if the car will be compromised in some pretty serious way. But I guess since there are rumours that a modified miata chassis will be used, a turbo I4 could fit and do the job quite nicely. Then Mazda is offering two quality cars, one for the hardcore and one for the casual, both with exceptional handling and power. Then people can just choose ultimate handling or fuel economy. Frankly it makes me think they could snag a big part of the convertible 370Z/Z4/etc. market with that layout.

        Also my 88 RX7 had 200k on the clock before it needed a rebuild. Just new seals, a bit of resurfacing and it was pretty snappy again. Torque doesn't break your skull but the car is super light. The things you mentioned are all non-issues. The problem is fuel economy (and to a lesser degree oil consumption because people are morons). The 16x will address all the downsides quite a bit though, how much is the question but from the basic geometry, it looks very good for Mazda.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are indeed missing something here...

        Mazda stated from the beginning that the RX8 would be a companion car (a step below) the *new* RX7...problem was, they never got around to making the new RX7. If I remember correctly (someone call me out if I'm wrong), Mazda wanted to create a more "family oriented" sports car completely separate from the RX7 model line...it just ended up with the RX moniker to establish a fanbase using familiar brand identity.

        Regardless of the specifics, I'm hoping for a TT reimagining of the 20B mounted aft of the front axle and no rear seats. That'd make me happy. 400hp and a sub-$45k price tag would make me happier.
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