Mazda rumored to bring rotary-powered RX-9 concept to Tokyo

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Mazda will bring a rotary-powered sports car to the next big auto show.

Okay, so we stopped for a second, but the show must go on. Following an official teaser image (shown above) late last month, has what it claims are renderings of the curvy, two-door coupe – called the RX-9 – that Mazda will bring to the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. The images show a far softer styling than Mazda's current crop of Kodo-inspired vehicles, while the overall look screams of a modern-day Cosmo Sport, the Japanese brand's first rotary-powered vehicle.

And though that connection alone might be enough to justify whisperings of a successor to the RX-7 and RX-8, Motoring claims there will be an even more overt sign of this concept's power source. "Look to the Cosmo Sport," an inside source told the Aussie website, signaling that the Mazda stand would feature the vintage two-door. "The Cosmo has no earthly reason for being there unless..."

The rotary rumor, if it comes true, won't exactly be what we're use to. While Motoring brings up the previously reported 16X – a 1.6-liter two-rotor – it builds on our 2013 report. According to the Aussies, the new engine could feature a two-stage electric turbocharger, be paired with a hybrid powertrain, offer up to 450 horsepower, and we're guessing, be hilariously complicated. Joking aside, it sounds like Mazda's goals here are admirable. A rotary-equipped sports car that could counter the 1.3-liter RX-8 engine's appetite for fuel and improve on its mediocre low and mid-range torque would be interesting indeed.

As for those renderings, Motoring has front and rear three-quarter images. Comparing the rear with our original teaser leaves the look open to interpretation, but after seriously upping the exposure on the teaser (thanks Photoshop), the taillights and overall profile shape look to be a spot-on match. In front, the long hood shares some Kodo elements, like the headlights and grille, but its undeniable coupe shape – a long hood and very short deck – are far more organic and, dare we say, calm, than Mazda's other vehicles.

You can take a closer look at the renderings over at Motoring's website. Do that, and then head back and let us know what you think of these RX-9 rumors. Is Mazda finally going to be bringing a rotary back to market?

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