It's a great part of the company's past. But until this week, that's exactly what we thought it was. History. That all changed with the reveal of the RX-Vision concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, which reignited the passions of the Mazda faithful. Suddenly, rotary was no longer a relic.
The rotary concept shown in Japan was a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car wrapped in the company's latest Kodo design language. It's powered by a Skyactiv-R unit (R for rotary), though specs were not disclosed. Mass production is "currently on hold," Mazda said, maintaining it never stopped development of rotary technology, even after the demise of the RX-8.
Beyond that, we know nothing, other than the optimistic statement Mazda offered that: the "RX-Vision represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality."
Put simply: we agree.
OTHER NEWS & NOTES:
Subaru previews next-gen Impreza
While the Mazda concept was the headliner from Tokyo, Subaru's Impreza design study also stood out. The five-door concept is a signpost for the look of next-generation Impreza. It blends sportiness with functionality, and it's wrapped in a striking shade of 'high-luminance silver.' The fenders are flared to signal Subaru's all-wheel-drive capability, and the front has futuristic headlights that look like something from an Audi E-Tron concept. While most of this will be toned down in production, the concept suggests an elevated style for the Impreza, which is due as a 2017 model.
Porsche adds potent GTS model to 2017 Macan line
Porsche is giving the Macan crossover the GTS treatment, which will start at $68,195 when it goes on sale in March. GTS translates to more power, a sportier suspension, and interior and exterior design cues that sharpen the looks and reflexes of one of the most athletic SUVs on the market. Porsche recalibrated the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Macan S to make 360 hp and 369 lb-ft, (up from 340 hp and 339 lb-ft in the S). It teams with a seven-speed PDK gearbox and all-wheel drive. An air suspension is standard. The body features a slew of black accents, and the standard 20-inch RS Spyder wheels are done up in a shade of satin black. The cabin gets leather, Alcantara, and GTS logos. It can be optioned up with a red color scheme for the tachometer, stitching, seat belts, and embroidery.
Kia Forte Koup converted for mudding, and SEMA
We've seen some odd creations at the SEMA show, but a Kia Forte Koup converted for mudding is among the most bizarre. And in a week of interesting SEMA previews from Ford, Chevy, and others, this one caught our attention. The Koup is raised four inches, set on 28-inch mud tires, and has flared fenders and side skirts. There are racing seats, a roll cage, and the floor is lined with a protective coating to shield against all the mud, Oh, and it has a panoramic roof. This isn't a Jeep Wrangler, mind you. This is Kia Forte Koup. And it sounds awesome.