New Mazda RX-7 likely by 2016

Mazda RX-7 may be reborn as lightweight, two-seat coupé powered by a 250bhp engine.

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New Mazda RX-7 likely by 2016

2009 Mazda RX-8 shown.

According to reports, the Mazda RX-7 will be resurrected as a lightweight and agile two-seat coupé, powered by a new-generation 250bhp rotary engine, with a launch date of 2015 to 2016 already pencilled in.

Although there isn't any official statement on the new Mazda RX-7 yet, sources in the company have said that the car and a new rotary engine are under development and that the project is being planned as a platform derivative of the new, lightweight MX-5, due in 2015.

The look of the RX-7 will follow the same simple design philosophy as the new MX-5. Mazda sources confirm that RX-7 work is going on in advanced design but the final shape has yet to be made into a production-ready form. The work is being done under chief designer Ikuo Maeda, whose father was head of design at Mazda in the 1970s when the original RX-7 was created.

The RX-7’s new rotary engine is being planned as a normally aspirated unit. Autocar understands that a production RX-7 would feature a conventional powertrain to keep costs down. The RX-7 engine’s capacity is likely to be about 600cc per rotor, slightly smaller than the RX-8’s 654cc-per-rotor unit.

Power output, fuel efficiency and reliability are expected to be improved.

Sources suggest that the power will be below 300bhp and that about 250bhp might be expected. Given the potential rivals — such as the next-gen Toyota GT-86 and next-gen Nissan 370Z — the new RX-7 will have to deliver performance by blending a relatively low power output with a lightweight chassis.

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2009 Mazda RX-8 shown.
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Issue: 206 | Autocar India: October 2016

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