BREAKING – 2015 Tokyo: All hail Mazda’s rotary coupe revival, the RX-Vision Concept

After many many rumors and teasers and even doubt that Mazda was ever going to follow through with their plans to succeed the RX-8 with another rotary-powered RX sports coupe, Mazda finally came out from hiding to reveal that they were indeed working on one after all.

And here it is, out in the open, and fully revealed at the beginning of the Tokyo Motor Show, to kick off this year’s exhibition (yes, we though Nissan was first). The Mazda RX IS NOT DEAD!

The new RX-Vision Concept is the latest take on a new RX sports coupe for the times, as it’s tentatively dubbed the RX-9 when it reaches production. Donning an all-new next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine, as confirmed by Mazda’s CEO in previous interviews, th new RX-Vision is as imagined–a front-engined rear wheel drive sports coupe.

Speaking of which, the SKYACTIV-R engine was designed and built to tackle the previous Renesis motor’s shortcomings, focusing on fuel economy, emissions and reliability, without sacrificing power.

Visually, Mazda’s current Kodo design theme could be seen throughout the smooth, curvaceous, and yet clean exterior. The stance is aggressive with wide shoulderlines and an extremely raked windshield, with a low-slung roof–pretty much everything that visibly screams “sports coupe.” And like previous generation of RX, the back window is also swept back with a long-sloping angle, fusing into the rear trunk line to give off a sort of fastback profile.

Specifics to what exactly the new SKYACTIV-R motor produces or what technology it features, as well as other technical tidbits remain unspoken of. But needless to say, Mazda just proved today that their heart and soul are very much still alive and well.

For the press blast, check it out below.

Tokyo Motor Show Pic


Mazda Reveals Mazda RX-VISION Concept

Powered by next-generation rotary engine SKYACTIV-R, represents Mazda’s vision of the future

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled the rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show*1 today. The rotary engine is a symbol of the company’s “never-stop-challenging” spirit.

RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, KODO design-based proportions only Mazda could envision, and powered by the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine.

Rotary engines feature a unique construction, generating power through the rotational motion of a triangular rotor. Overcoming numerous technical difficulties, Mazda succeeded in commercializing the rotary engine, fitting it in the Cosmo Sport (known as Mazda 110S overseas) in 1967. As the only automaker to mass-produce the rotary engine, Mazda continued efforts to improve power output, fuel economy and durability, and in 1991 took overall victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans with a rotary engine-powered race car. Over the years, the rotary engine has come to symbolize Mazda’s creativity and tireless endeavor in the face of difficult challenges.

While mass production is currently on hold, Mazda has never stopped research and development efforts towards the rotary engine. The next rotary engine has been named SKYACTIV-R, expressing the company’s determination to take on challenges with convention-defying aspirations and the latest technology, just as it did when developing SKAYCTIV TECHNOLOGY.

“I look forward to talking with you more about this vision we have revealed here today at the Mazda stand,” said Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO, Masamichi Kogai. “Mazda will continue to take on new challenges in an effort to build a special bond with our customers and become their ‘one and only’ brand.”

Mazda RX-VISION rotary sports car concept

A vision of the future that harbors the soul of the Mazda brand

Mazda’s vision is to deliver true driving pleasure that will earn its cars a position as the customer’s partner, and will enrich their motoring lives. That motivates Mazda to continually defy convention and push the boundaries, building cars that match its unique vision.

Mazda is the only carmaker in the world to successfully bring to market and mass-produce the rotary engine. It is a symbol of the company’s tirelessly challenging spirit and, as the soul of the Mazda brand, it represents the unique and innovative technology that helped establish the brand and create a solid bond between Mazda and its customers. That is why rotary engine research and development continues today, even though there are no rotary-powered cars in the current product lineup.

The Mazda RX-VISION rotary sports car concept introduces the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine and Mazda’s vision of the ultimate in front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car styling. Making its world premiere in Tokyo, the RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that harbors the soul of the Mazda brand.

One-of-a-kind FR proportions born of KODO design and the rotary engine
RX-VISION adopts the beautiful proportions of an FR sports car as could only be envisioned by Mazda. The styling is modern but maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity, encapsulating Mazda’s entire history of sports car design.

A low and wide body, short overhangs and taut cabin make the model immediately recognizable as a sports car. These elements combine with the low overall height and incredibly low hood made possible by the compact and lightweight next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine to create truly one-of-a-kind proportions.

The design aim was to shave away all but the essentials and give birth to the dynamic tension and ambience of a machine that is all business. The fine craftsmanship of Mazda’s renowned clay modelers creates reflections that convey motion and thereby capture the spirit of the KODO design language without relying on character lines or other such elements. It is an elegant and highly vital form that changes expression with the slightest change of viewing angle.

A special red chosen for the body color features both energetic brightness and depth. It helps bring out the luster and contrast between light and shadow that are present on the RX-VISION.

Weaving some design motifs that reflect the history of Mazda sports cars into the design of the RX-VISION expresses Mazda’s unchanging passion for the sports car.

For the interior, the design team pursued an ultimately simple yet powerful image, while fusing it with the tactile feel of handcrafted work and a sophisticated mechanical expression. Intricate instruments give the cockpit a true machine appeal, which in combination with the simple instrument panel and genuine leather trim with a saddle motif for the center tunnel create an interior atmosphere that speaks of handcrafted warmth and quality yet maintains a sense of tension.

The next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine aims toward the future
Working to realize the ideal internal combustion engine, Mazda returned to the drawing board and built the SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine and SKYACTIV-D diesel engine from scratch.

Even after discontinuing production of the RX-8 in 2012, Mazda continued research and development to further evolve the rotary engine. This next-generation rotary engine has been christened SKYACTIV-R, a name intended to represent the company’s firm resolve in applying the most advanced technologies and the same high aspirations that yielded SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY towards achieving a breakthrough in addressing the three key issues with rotary engines — fuel economy, emissions performance and reliability.

Mazda will never stop challenging to deliver new rotary engines that provide its unique brand of driving pleasure.


Mazda RX-VISION major specifications:

Seating capacity: 2 persons
Overall length x width x height: 4,389mm x 1,925mm x 1,160mm
Wheelbase: 2,700mm
Powertrain: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Tires: Front: 245/40R20 / Rear: 285/35R20
Rim width: Front: 9.5J / Rear: 11J

– By: Chris Chin

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Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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