After the long-running Mazda RX-8 finally left production in 2012 after low sales and a failure to meet stringent Euro-zone emissions requirements, Mazda was left with a conundrum: Should they abandon the rotary engine entirely, great for sporty performance but traditionally not so good for environmental and reliability concerns? Before the company revitalized itself with a slew of strong new products, it looked as if the rotary was dead, but now a new report from GT Channel tells a different story.
The next Mazda rotary-powered sports car is indeed in development, and will be powered by an 800cc, dual-rotor hybrid powertrain the company is dubbing "16x". Before you let the word hybrid get your hippie side all a ‘flutter, know that this will be one mean performance machine.
The RX-8 took some heat for being softer and less engaging than the chassis-code "FD" RX-7 car that preceded it, and while it was still a competent driver, it just lacked that certain special edge.
Not so with the new car, Mazda says. Expected to make in excess of 350 horsepower, the new sports car will most likely be called the Mazda RX-9 and is expected to reach dealerships in late 2014 or early 2015. Until then, we can only wait for leaked pics, testing info and specs as they come out. More news on the way!