2012 marked the year Mazda RX-8 made its last bow to the motoring world. Many thought that the rotary engine also died with it but Mazda was not about to retire an engine which had brought the company some pretty good tidings more so in the 1960s including a victory at the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The ever rising emission restrictions forced the automaker to discontinue the engine which is known for its poor fuel economy, emission performance and poor reliability. But during this year’s Tokyo Auto Show, Mazda surprised many by revealing a new concept model dunned the Mazda RX-Vision Concept set to carry an improved rotary engine. The automaker says the new engine efficiency will be at par with most conventional engines if not better.
Mazda RX-Vision Concept Exterior
The Mazda RX-Vision concept spans 172.8 inches long, 75.8 inches wide and stand has a height of 45.7 inches. These proportions are almost similar to the Jaguar F-type coupe and Mercedes-AMG GT . The RX-Vision will have a wheelbase of 106.3 inches. These dimensions result to a long, lean and low profile that is complimented by a long, low hood, a short rear deck, sculpted fenders and flowing roofline.
The RX-Vision stands on a set of 10-spoke, 20-inch wheels. The front wheels measure 9.5 inches wide while the rear wheels are wider at 11 inches. The front wheels are wrapped in 245/40 rubber while the rear ones are wrapped in 285/35 rubber. The idea behind the exterior profile is to equip the car with a signature profile that doesn’t heavily rely on character lines.
Mazda RX-Vision Concept Interior
The RX-Vision concept interior features a simple and uncluttered cabin. Its interior is based on the 2+2 styling concept. The interior will only feature useful gadgets. There will be no overload with screens. The interior has a basic black and red trim with silver metal accents and a dose of carbon-fiber accent. There is a metal gearshift that seems to rise from the center console. The door pulls feature leather straps.
However, since it is only a concept, we believe there will be some other additions to the interior like a rear view camera, Bluetooth and Smartphone connectivity, a sound system as well as various driving aids among other features.
Under the hood, the Mazda RX-Vision Concept will feature a rotary engine which has been dubbed the “SkyActiv-R”. The automaker has not disclosed any information about the engine specs but says that the engine will offer all benefits without its prior limitations.
Rotary engines use a triangular rotor which spins inside an oval housing unlike pistons in a traditional combustion engine which go up and down. Each revolution of the rotary engine is similar to the 4-stroke cycle of a traditional combustion engine. This engine is lighter, more compact with a smooth acceleration, less vibration and less noise. As such a vehicle with a rotary engine can have a lower center of gravity with no need to use much sound deafening material; it also has a better performance-to-weight ratio. Its disadvantage is that it can sip more fuel, less reliable and even wear out more quickly.
The engine will have a 8,000 rpm redline and will be offered in rear-wheel drive. That’s as much as we know about the engine. We will update you once we have more details.
Mazda affirmed that the RX-Vision is a concept that they hope to take into production in future. The automaker also insists that mass production of rotaries is on hold.
However, we believe Mazda might debut a production model of the RX-Vision to celebrate its 50th anniversary of its first rotary-powered car in 2017 or to mark the company’s 100th anniversary later in 2020. We hope they won’t keep us waiting for long.