• Oct 22, 2009

1970 Mazda RX-500 Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

One of the coolest concept cars here at the Tokyo Motor Show isn't even new. In fact, it's almost forty years old. Originally displayed at the Tokyo show in 1970, this Mazda RX-500 Concept features styling similar to the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO Breadvan, gullwing doors that swing forward, and a 491cc rotary engine just behind the seats. Weighing in at just 1873 pounds, the 247-horsepower concept was said to have reached nearly 150 mph on Mazda's test track.

The car was recently restored in partnership with the Hiroshima City Transportation Museum where it has apparently been on display for the last year. Lucky for us, they decided to bring it to the show for us to enjoy as well. Check out this unique bit of retro-conceptual genius in our high-res gallery below.



Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, what a blast from the past. I remember seeing the RX-500 in the car mags way back then, but it seems to me it was painted yellow. The C-111s were orange, weren't they?
      • 5 Years Ago
      i love those old wheels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      that is AWESOME. it looks like a fairly big car to only weigh 1800 lbs. so cool.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same thing- how does that thing weigh just 1800 lbs?

        • 5 Years Ago
        These 60s and 70s lightweight specials had fiberglass body over backbone chassis. They are extremely light, drive well, but offer very little protection to the driver (usually they have only a basic roll bar).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like ARK II.

      Good looking anyway, the coolest thing for it's time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      want!
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks like a copy of the rotary powered Mercedes C-111 I (280hp/162mph) and C-111 II (360hp/186mph) from 1969 and 1970...which was more powerfull and lot faster..

      http://media.daimler.com/Projects/c2c/channel/images/455432_769083_400_351_7724921996M267.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        NSU is part of Audi and the last time I checked Audi is doing very well...
        BTW Audi´s stock exchange symbole is still NSU, legal by law the today Audi AG is just a renamed NSU AG.. go figure..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Soo-eet! I just bought a detailed scale model of the black and yellow version last week!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda Esprit?
      • 5 Years Ago

      With concepts like this way back in 1970 it's easy to see how the world expected flying cars, rolling sidewalks, moon bases, and silver jumpsuits by the turn of the century.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Old school "Dogs Bo11ocks"!

      Now that's a nice piece of car.

      http://www.carnorama.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is one small rotary engine. Is that power figure accurate?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It will also depend on how many rotors the engine has. The way they measure rotary engines, the displacement cannot be directly compared to piston engines because they only account for the displacement of a single rotor face. That's similar to only counting the displacement of a single cylinder in your car and marketing that as the displacement.

        Here's more info about how they measure displacement on rotaries and what needs to be done to compare it to a piston engine.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistonless_rotary_engine#Comparisons
        • 5 Years Ago
        Did some more quick research, appears that the 10A is a 2-rotor design.

        Using the displacement calculation approach in my previous comment above, this engine would be equivalent to a roughly 2.0L piston engine.

        Considering that the turbo 13B in the 3rd-gen RX-7 displaced 654cc on a single rotor face and produced up to 280hp(officially, wink wink), I think it's a safe bet that the 10A had the help of forced induction. Especially cosidering it came out a few decades earlier.
        • 5 Years Ago
        from reading other sources on this car they all register the 10A rotary engine to have about 247hp. How they did that I am not entirely sure. There has to be some huge porting done to the engine I bet. Also i would not be surprised it they added some forced induction as well. Either way about 250hp out of a 10A engine is F**king incredible!
      • 5 Years Ago
      BEAUTIFUL!!! Old school rotaries rock my world!
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