MX-5 program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto has revealed that Mazda is developing an all-new, rotary-engined RX-7. The new sports car is expected to debut by 2017.
Speaking to Japan’s Car News, Yamamoto said the new RX-7 that will be lighter, more powerful and more fuel efficient than the discontinued RX-8. It will employ Mazda’s next-generation 16X rotary engine, which will produce around 300 horsepower in naturally aspirated form and more in a possible turbo form.
Likely to be based on a stretched version of the next-generation MX-5‘s (Miata) platform, the rear-wheel drive sports car will benefit from Mazda’s SKYACTIV technologies, using special catalytic converters and combustion principles to improve fuel-efficiency and to ensure emissions-compliancy. Recall that the slow-selling RX-8 was pulled out of Europe partly because it was unable to meet emission standards.
Yamaoto is in the camp that insists that a pure sports car must have an internal combustion engine, so a hybrid powertain is out of the question.
To obtain a weight rating of around 2800 pounds (1270 kg), the same as the Toyota GT-86 (Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ), aluminum will be used extensively in the RX-7’s bodyshell. It will be a two-seater in all but the Japanese market, where it will feature two small rear seats.