Mazda has confirmed it will bring a new rotary-powered concept car to the upcoming 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
Speaking to AutoExpress at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, Mazda Europe R&D chief Matsuhiro Tanaka revealed the automaker’s new rotary concept will be “an evolution of theme of the RX Vision.” For those of you who don’t know, the RX Vision was first shown by Mazda at the Tokyo Motor Show two years ago. The front-engine, rear wheel drive concept previewed the future direction of Mazda’s Kodo design language and signaled the eventual revival of Mazda’s venerable rotary engine.
Like the RX Vision, Mazda’s new concept will give us an idea of how its future vehicles will be styled and how its rotary engine will be implemented going forward. The RX Vision featured an updated version of the rotary, referred to then as Skyactiv-R, but very little information on the powertrain was provided at the time. We’re expecting the new concept to provide details on the progress Mazda has made with the rotary since then, in addition to hinting toward its future design language.
“When we introduce a concept our intention from the engineering and design community is to make it a reality,” Tanaka said. “What I will say is that we are making the utmost efforts to try and make this a possibility.”
Thankfully, Mazda has said its new rotary car won’t be a hybrid. While the brand is open to pairing the motor with some sort of hybrid tech, Tanaka said he’d like to offer a gas-only rotary engine car because he believes “that is what the rotary engine fans will want.”
Mazda had some considerable kinks to iron out of the rotary in order to make it viable for production in the present day. Efficiency, reliability and emissions are all areas where the rotary previously fell short in comparison to conventional gas engines, but you can probably trust Mazda, the company that has produced the world’s first production-viable compression ignition gas engine, to deliver the goods. We’ll find out more at the Tokyo Motor Show late next month.
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