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We Hear: Rotary-Powered Mazda Sports Car to get Electric Turbo

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/10/2014 Jason Udy

Mazda has registered the RX-7 and RX-9 names, suggesting the Japanese automaker is working on two rotary-powered sports cars. It was initially thought that a new Mazda RX-7 would arrive in 2017 in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original rotary-powered 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sports, and the RX-9 would arrive in 2020 to celebrate the automaker’s 100th anniversary. Now, Motoring.com.au reports that a rotary-powered concept will be shown in 2017 with the production model arriving in 2020, possibly sporting an electric turbocharger.

Mazda Rx 9 Design Sketch© Provided by MotorTrend Mazda Rx 9 Design Sketch

“We want to surprise everyone in 2017 with something special to celebrate the birth of rotary," a senior Mazda executive told Motoring.com.au. "Then, to celebrate the company’s 100th birthday, we want to take it to another level in 2020."

Research

The automaker is said to have been working on a replacement for the RX-7 for the last 10 years, but the project was paused while efforts were refocused on the new fourth-generation Miata. With the new roadster complete, engineers will resume work on the RX-7 successor.

Mazda is reportedly working on a 450-hp rotary for the new sports coupe. An unnamed source told Motoring.com.au that the new engine, likely based on the 1.6-liter 16X R-2 concept engine, will feature a capacitor-powered electric turbocharger for low end and a conventional exhaust-driven turbocharger for high rpm.

Initially, the new rotary-powered sports coupe was to share its underpinnings with the new Miata, but the new turbocharged rotary engine is said to be too powerful for the roadster’s chassis. Now, the rotary-powered sports coupe could use a shortened and modified version of the RX-8 coupe’s chassis. The new sports car could tip the scales at less than 2850 pounds.

Source: Motoring.com.au

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