• Dec 26, 2009
The rumormill just can't stop churning out stories of an impending Mazda RX-7 revival. We've been hearing that we should expect the rotary-powered sports car any day now... for the last few years. It's still yet to show its smiling face. Still, here we are with another report indicating that the next RX-7 is just around the corner, this time as a 2011 or 2012 model.
Inside Line reports that the birth of the two-seat Mazda RX-7 will mean the death of the current four-door, four-seat RX-8 that's been in circulation since 2004. Furthermore, the gang in Santa Monica says that next-gen rotary sportscar may not up the performance ante of either the last twin-turbo RX-7 or even the current RX-8's 1.3-liter 232-horsepower Renesis engine. This, despite earlier rumors that the latest 1.6-liter 16X powerplant was kicking out as much as 350 horses while still achieving superior fuel economy over its forebears.

Mazda could instead return to the ethos of the first RX-7 from 1979, fielding a lightweight two-seater powered by a new version of the Wankel producing somewhere between 200 and 250 horsepower. If true, we can expect the next RX-7 to cost somewhere around $25,000 and be positioned against cars like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the upcoming RWD Toyota/Subaru.



[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 45 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      While other brands are loosing my respect, Mazda keeps impressing..
      Goes to show how smaller and more tightley focused products win hearts
      vs the sheep buying mentality of so many.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually pretty much everyone cares about the slow toyobaru and hyundai genesis. Meanwhile, nissan went from planning to sell 30,000 370zs this year to hoping to sell 10,000. I don't think the $30,000+ 2 door sports car market is as big as anyone would like, meanwhile, the sub $25k sports car market is heating up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear Madza,

      You already gave us an emasculated, underpowered coupe... the Miata.

      Grow a pair, and give us a proper RX-7 that _goes_ as well as it turns.

      Sincerely,

      Missing the Real RX-7 (the one with turbos)
      • 5 Years Ago
      As the owner of 2 Rotaries, I continue to wait for Mazda to bring something that will make me run to the bank and walk out with a suitcase full of $$ to drop at the dealership for a deposit. I will continue to ask Santa for something in neighborhood of 2 doors, 2 seats, with a ROTARY ENGINE! If you can bring it under $25K, that would be stellar as well, but $30K MAX!!! As I would be paying more every week at the gas pump. = )

      Thanks Mazda!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The RX-8's styling never really came together...although the lower body was nicely done, the cab with its thick and awkward pillars never really said sports car. If they can't draw occasional doors better than that. then it should be a two door, regardless of what they call it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a great price and I'm sure it'll be a good performer. But I'm not sure the idea of the RX-7 hasn't passed by now. It used to be Mazda got a ton of good PR by selling that exotic, good performing car for a low price, and it helped sell the rest of their lineup which wasn't all that interesting. Nowadays, Mazda isn't really in need of a boost. They have several cars that are very well received already.

      And to top that, the Wankel is pretty crummy on fuel economy, when you can get a cheap 4-banger from Hyundai making 30 mpg highway, are young people really going to gravitate towards the RX-7 (RX-8 makes 22 highway)? It's not like you give up all that much except for the sound of the Wankel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I didn't give up getting good mileage for the sound of a Wankel. I gave it up because rotaries are smoother and they like to stay at high rpms. I also like the fact that my 1.3 liter engine puts out 300+ HP. Rotaries smell better too... especially if you premix.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mazda returning with a proper RX-7 would be a good thing, just as moving away with the RX-8 was brand destruction.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No matter how cool it may be, its time to ditch the Wankel.

        Offering a Miata / MX-5 with a fixed roof and a turbo direct injection 4 cylinder makes more sense than an RX-7.

        If Mazda can only use their rotary engine in one car, it can't possibly justify the R&D cost or turn a profit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I also think the MX-5 is a good base for this. They could always sell different variants. Maybe an updated RX-8 platform, similar to how Chrysler is updating the next LX. Could possibly spawn a new RX-8(Same idea) RX-5(Mustang-like, GT. Same idea as the older RX-5) and maybe an RX-4(Same idea as the Toyobaru) the RX-8 and RX-5 could have the exact same wheelbase. while the RX-4 can ride on a shorter wheelbase.
      • 5 Years Ago
      how tightly linked are mazda and ford? a mazdaspeed version using the GT500 motor would be BADASS
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's a funny joke
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda isn't stupid - they wouldn't be reintroducing the RX7 in such a competitive environment if they didn't find a way to improve upon the things that have plagued rotaries since day-one.

      My guess is some kind of hybrid system that uses an electric motor to assist in low-end torque and boost fuel economy - two of the biggest rotary problems. It would also make sense to go hybrid with a rotary because they are so small in size that there would be more room in the engine way for the EV components.

      I just don't see them being able to stay competitive any other way - they can try going lightweight, but the RX8 is already pretty light and it's still considered slow and glut-less in the lower RPM range. And while I realize that balls to wall acceleration is not really what the RX7 has ever been about, but I think the market in general would be looking for better performance numbers than the current RX8 is putting down.
        • 5 Years Ago
        3000 lbs IS considered lightweight for a modern car (besides compacts, of course).

        Hell, the RX8 is right around that mark and is about 200 lbs lighter than the Corvette which has always been praised for it's lightness - you are simply not going to get much lighter than that without carbon fiber which is way too expensive for a reasonably-priced car like an RX7. Just not gonna happen.

        And your fears about EV are unwarranted. While there might be some more complexity, electric motors are extremely reliable and any added weight due to batteries could be partially negated because they could theoretically be placed anywhere within the chassis - thus actually helping weight distribution and thus handling. Something that the RX7 has always been known for.

        And if the car is designed from the get-go to have some kind of hybrid powertrain, there is no good reason it can't be fairly light too - while obviously in a completely different class, the Prius weighs about the same as the RX8 (3050 lbs). It is actually lighter than some similarly sized conventional cars.

        What any future RX7 needs more than almost anything else is torque and better efficiency, and an electric assist could solve both those issues.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I think you are right and they will make it competitive - please, please, please NO EV HYBRID CRAP! Last thing a lightweight sports car needs is a big battery pack and an electric motor. More complexity, more weight, more problems. All bad.

        The RX-8 is far from light. I own one, love it, track it to death, run down and eat higher-horsepower $$$ cars for breakfast, but it's up around 3000 lbs which is far from "lightweight". Mazda really should go down the Chapman "add lightness" path again like they did with the FD RX-7.

        Imagine a car with the fantastic looks of the FD, a 250 HP 16X, the brilliant A-arm/multilink suspension of the RX-8, and coming in at 2500-2800 lbs. OOooh! Ah, uh, pardon me, I have to go change my shorts...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've waited almost since the time I could learn to drive, like 10+ years to afford one. Bring it out already. I'm excited.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The time of the rotary is dead, Mazda should give up on them, no matter what tricks they employ driving any engine constantly in the higher rpm range will burn gas. Those engines are gutless despite how the fanboys say they're so smooth and whatnot. And also if this thing turns out to be a 2 seater it wont sell. Nissan is having trouble pushing Zs off the lot while Ford, Chevy and yes even Hyundai are having no trouble getting their new high power 4 seaters off the lot. Mazda has great engineers who are working on the wrong types of car, instead they should reengineer the current RX8 into something good looking and stuff a Mazdaspeed 3 engine in there, or a big V6 just to keep competitive. All that at about a 25k price point and id be sold, now if only VW would make a cheap rwd.
      invisiblepigeon3
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've never driven them, but I always loved the way the last generation RX7 looked. I thought their departure to the cartoonish RX8 was a huge mistake. I hope they can bring back the sleek supercar look of the RX7.

      That being said, the Mazda 3 used to look good. It has degenerated into one of the stupidest looking cars ever made, so I'm not holding my breath! Please Mazda, don't give your next cars that STUPID F'ing smily face!
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