REPORT: Mazda's design chief working on new RX-7

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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