When we last reported on a possible return of the RX-7 flagship sports car to Mazda’s lineup it was after the company’s head of design, Ikua Maeda, spoke about his efforts to get the project started. Maeda even said he had gone so far as to sketch some preliminary drawings to show company execs.
Now we hear that the plans are progressing beyond the car’s design and to the all-important powerplant stage. The new RX-7 would use the Renesis 16X rotary engine, as found in the Taiki concept car (pictured above) that was shown back in 2007.
Displacing 1.6-liters, the turbocharged engine would make more than 300-hp, meaning that this RX-7 would be more in line with the original high-powered RX-7 sports cars than with the more pedestrian RX-8.
A report in the U.K.’s AutoExpress says that the RX-7 would replace the RX-8 in Mazda’s lineup, a move which does seem strange as the high-powered RX-7 would most likely be a more expensive vehicle, meaning the car would be sold in much more limited volume. We find it hard to believe Mazda would give up on segment of the market that it does so well in, although, with car’s like the S2000 gone and the 370Z moving more up-market, perhaps Mazda has made the decision to do the same.
If the new RX-7 does make its way into production it is likely to succeed the RX-8 in 2011.