Retro Roundup: Mazda RX-7, Toyobaru 086a, Honda Prez

new_mazda_rx-7_renderingDespite a flagging global economy that’s hit Japan particularly hard and reports of the world’s auto manufacturers bailing on this year’s Tokyo Motor Show left and right this year, there are now some surprising rumors surfacing. If true, the 41st Tokyo Motor Show may be a retro revival of sorts.

The most recent speculation is that of a possible Mazda RX-7 concept, powered by a 1.6L rotary. Many Mazdafarians failed to fully embrace the RX-8, and this would be a return to the two-door formula of past RX-7s. But with only one report and Mazda’s dire financial shape, we’d have to say this seems highly unlikely.

Slightly less unlikely is the unveiling of Project 086a, the Subaru-Toyota lightweight AE86 successor. It may even be called the Celica, marking the first time the Celica nameplate would be used on a RWD platform since the end of the A60 in 1986.

Other rumors say this entry-level sports coupe will be accompanied by a Supra successor, possibly a hybrid. And yet more scuttlebutt claims Toyota will unleash a sports car trifecta because the production Lexus LF-A V10 supercar, of which there will only be 500 made, is also coming to the party.

honda_takanobu_itoIf we had to guess, which we are, we’d say no to the Supra and yes to the LF-A and 086a/Celica. Those have had numerous reports with the name of new prez Akio Toyoda attached, and perhaps he’s just enough of a car nut to make it happen. It would do well to back up his claims of “emotional” products coming from a company that seems to have lost its way with sports cars.

And it looks like Honda is following on Toyota’s heels by making Takanobu Ito, the chassis engineer for the NSX, its new president. Here’s another company that once made brilliant sports cars but has turned its back on them for mass-market sedans and crossover SUVs in recent years. Talk of “recapturing the spirit of the past” poured forth from Ito-san.

So either we’re on the verge of another JDM renaissance or we’ll all be sorely disappointed come October. Sounds about right.

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6 Responses to Retro Roundup: Mazda RX-7, Toyobaru 086a, Honda Prez

  1. Matt said:

    I’d like to see the Supra offered in both gas and hybrid models, although without severely under powering the gas model, it would likely top the hybrid in (at least non straight line) performance, what with the added battery weight.

    Hopefully the Subaru/Toyota 086a project will be a return to form for Toyota, I loved my AE86 SR-5 Corolla, light, reliable, roomy, and a blast to drive, even without a 4AGE motor! Bring on a modern version.

  2. DIASISS said:

    It will absolutly fail! Japanese auto makers have gotten completly away from any style whatsoever! I cant even imagine a librarian wanting a new toyota,mazda or whatever! and i cant even begin to fathom why they wonder why their sales continue to fail!!!…They forgot what made them famous in the 1st place…GOOD LOOKING,GAS FRIENDLY,AFFORDABLE,RWD let me say it again good looking cars!!! The 80s made them legendary!!! like the RX-7,Celica,Supra,Cressida,Mr2 and even the corolla…and so on! The point is, back then they were distinguishable… If they were SMART they would hire ME!!! and ill take them to the TRILLION dollar range…

    lol,but thats just my copy and pasted rant on the 2010 Celica…

  3. ellis said:

    DIASISS: you are on crack! while i am hardly a fan of the average Japanese family sedan or econobox styling, the cars of today look FAR better than the 80s models you tout. and this is comming from a a 2.5RS (jza70/mkIII supra) owner and fan. i LOVE the AE86, mistsu starion, and 300Z among others. but compared to the cars of the day they were hardly “lookers”.

    currently, especially in the case of Mazda; the average Japanese car is quite attractive, if annomous. i remember in the 80s how the Japanese had quite the rep for making awkward or quirky looking cars…at least buy US standards. today that no longer remains true.

  4. DIASISS said:

    the 80s for japanese cars was like the 60s for american cars…

  5. DIASISS said:

    lol,then maybe you should view this gallery i set up for sceptics…im sure youll reconsider after viewing this amazing Japanese 80s gallery {click link below}…

    http://forums.maxima.org/album.php?albumid=745

  6. jordan said:

    Sorry Diassis, but got to agree with everyone else on this one, my favorite cars in your 80s gallery are the Celica’s and the Z! Even the liftback looks nicer to me than most of the others. I do agree that it’s sad to see so many Japanese cars fading into obscurity (who remembers the last time Honda came out with an exciting sports car on the same level as a 240Z or C110 Skyline?). I actually think the 90s were a huge recovery for Jap cars (Integra, Prelude, Celica, etc.), sure the styling was different but at least it was a return to more fluid lines and architecture as opposed to the general boxiness of the 80s cars.