Tokyo Motor Show: Rotary-powered Mazda RX-Vision concept

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Mazda launched the RX-Vision Concept moments ago at the Tokyo Motor Show. Now, we can finally reveal definitively what many of you have been hoping for since we first hinted at a return of the rotary.

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Not only is Mazda bringing back the rotary, but the sports car itself in an age where nearly every other automaker seems to be eschewing dedicated performance machines. For years, there have been rumors of an RX-7 revival. Each one was followed by a denial. It was a all a ruse. Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said that although there are a few technical issues to overcome, we WILL do this. It is part of the insatiable challenge of dreaming at Mazda.

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Launched in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics during the golden age of Japan’s post-war prosperity, the original Cosmo Sport was an announcement to the world that Mazda — and to a larger extent, Japan itself — had arrived. Though every nation tried, no other automaker was able to successfully develop the rotary engine for long term production or for a sports car.

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Though specs were not given, it was confirmed that it was rear wheel drive, eight inches wider and 1.5 foot longer in wheelbase than an ND Miata. The engine is a new rotary dubbed SkyActiv R.

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The rotary was Mazda’s calling card for almost 50 years, powering everything from sports sedans to buses. Since the RX-8 ended production in 2012, however, enthusiasts have been clamoring for a new rotary sports car to fill the void.

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With it, Mazda is staking a claim in the automotive realm. While other automakers make excuses about how it’s too expensive to develop a sports car, Mazda is telling the world, “This is who we are.”

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Sports cars are halo cars, and Mazda’s already got halo for miles with the MX-5. Still, they’ve come out swinging with a one-two punch during a global economy that is harsher than ever towards sports cars. 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Mazda Cosmo Sport’s debut, but the RX-Vision is not a tribute. It’s more like a battle cry.

Bonus Images:

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Official Images

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44 Responses to Tokyo Motor Show: Rotary-powered Mazda RX-Vision concept

  1. Carrie Brzezinski said:

    Gorgeous.

  2. ya_boy_yeti said:

    hmmm looks to sleek, hopefully there will be a tasty aftermarket parts. maybe. . .

  3. Byron Chiu said:

    I pray that Mazda rolls with that “light loop” above the headlights…imagine closed pop-up headlights, concealing a backlight–‘that look!

  4. Rustywelder said:

    I’m in love! Finally a proper successor to the RX7.

  5. art ferrer said:

    Almost looks italian kind if reminds me of a maserati very elegant design

  6. MikeRL411 said:

    Agree!

  7. riley apon said:

    Hm. I was expecting it to be more “umph”

    • Kuroneko said:

      Well… in the metal, I can safely say I’ve not seen a production-slated concept that looks so dynamic, up-to-date, and sexy. Standing there as they unveiled it provided an awesome view of the details and subtly of the design. As a Honda person, it pains me to say the NSX looks like a try-hard R8 emulation. This Mazda – at least in its present form – is fantastic.

    • Michael said:

      That’s why it looks good IMO, it’s not all gaudy like that FT1 thing Toyota put out, or the GTR….it’s sleek and simple. Less is more.

  8. Wayne Thomas said:

    Well……yeh.

    [img]http://reactiongifs.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/slow-clap-citizen-kane-orson-welles.gif[/img]

  9. ready said:

    Ya… right. First glimpse of a new rotary sure. Not a repeat from like 2007 when they showed the Renesis car at all… no not at all.

  10. Serg said:

    While I love the look I have to say I’d put an FD in my garage before one of these – it’s simply a hard to beat design. However if we’re talking a big HP rotary with conventional reliability this will sell like hot cakes, unfortunately without the bonkers HP it’s a tough gig concincing buyers to fork out for a car that needs a rebuild every 100 thousand Ks

  11. Kack said:

    Ready, are you talking about the Furai? The one that should have been but was destroyed on the Top Gear test track by a fire?

  12. VincenzoL said:

    For the naysayers, the RX8 was shown as a concept car called the RX-Evolv and people thought the same thing at the time. Oddly enough the production version ended up looking better than the concept (I’ve never been a fan however).

    This is a concept to gauge reaction and for Mazda to let the world know that they are feverishly at work at something brilliant. Look at that hood! This has to be a return of the Cosmo. That is at least a 3-rotor design of the 16X (24X) and perhaps some hybrid technology thrown in thanks to the marriage with Toyota. Or God help us all its a 4-rotor. I can dream. I mean… just look at that hood! Sorry, still geeking out quite a bit. Whatever it is Mazda is keeping tight lips on the subject and I’m sure it’s for good reasons.

    Btw, this a link to the old RX-Evolv:

    http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-mazda/concepts-prototypes-showcars/mazda_rx-evolv/index.htm

    • Randy said:

      Forgot all about the RX-Evolv… Wow… I think it would’ve been pretty cool to use that styling on the 3 of the period, but of course, with the front-hinged rear doors. Maybe on a BMW-3-fighter, RWD sedan…

  13. Mazluce said:

    Now that is what you call DESIGN! Love the homage to Mazda’s past rotary cars. I haven’t been taken back by a car’s shape since the Aston Martin V8 Vantage rolled out a decade ago. I hope who ever penned it gets an award. Love the simplicity of the design and the attention to detail.

    Can’t wait to hear about what kind of tech this work of art is packing!

  14. james said:

    This news made my day. I had a feeling that Mazda was going to infuse the Rotary with their Skyactiv technology. All Mazdafarians/Rotorheads rejoice!

  15. angrytougeguy said:

    ROTARD UPRISING
    O
    T
    A
    R
    D

    U
    P
    R
    I
    S
    I
    N
    G

  16. Leon said:

    That deep dish steering wheel is awesome. I hope Vincenzo is correct, that long bonnet should house a 26B.

  17. Colin240z said:

    I like it. Nice SMOOTH restraint shown here – with a minimal number of creases and diving edges so frequently seen today.

  18. Daniel guzman said:

    A little Furai clues in the front, some clues of rx7 in the back and all the personality in the design. Good work Mazda!!! A great lesson to the other automakers, in a RyD budget of what? 1/5 of VW or Toyota? Stick with your principles Mazda, don’t loose your honor.

  19. Dankan said:

    It’s no FD3S, but then again, there’s also only one Mona Lisa.

    It’s not bad, but a little too slab-sided and tiny-greenhouse’d for my liking.

  20. Banpei said:

    Looks very sleek!
    Love those led-“brows” giving a nod to the Cosmo Sports!

  21. Marc Lawrenc said:

    And if it gets 30 plus mpg – so much better – I bought a new 1974 RX-4 – that was disappointing! Traded a 72 240Z in on it – That was really disappointing!

  22. Lupus said:

    Awesome lookin’ machine. The look is of course a matter of personal taste and shouldn’t be disputed about, but… It’s a killer. As for me it outclasses even the LF-A, not to mention the new NSX.
    The organic lines make me think that this a true child of FD. Raised in some remote mansion in Japans forrests by Mazda engenieers. Fed with fuel, oil, love and the legacy of it’s parent…

  23. KiKiIchiBan said:

    It’s to potential, lets hope Mazda have the balls to go through with the concept. I’ve had many rotary cars in the past and I’d be down my local Mazda dealer with a deposit if this does come out.

  24. Adam said:

    WOOT!

    That’s the mist reserved comment I could come up with.

  25. RB RX7 said:

    Okay…first time I’ve been impressed in a long time MAZDA, since ’92. THIS is what I’ve been yearning for …thank you Mazda.

  26. Joe Cepeda said:

    This is great Mazda is finally starting to roll the ball or shall I say rotor

  27. Censport said:

    In person, it is even more dramatic. By the way, those official images must have been taken in the underground quarry in Utsunomiya that Toyotageek and I have each been to.

  28. THE FTD said:

    Anyone else pick up the hidden message in the name? RX – VI s I on = RX – VII

    Coincidence?

  29. Randy said:

    GORGEOUS!

    With the estimates given, it’s somewhere between 3 and 6 in size?

    Stylistically, it’s a car that says: “You’ve arrived.”

    Imagine it at 6 size! Would be a possible competitor to Lexus.

    If not a rotary, then even a turbo-6 would be quite acceptable.

  30. Dale Davies said:

    That long hood is reminiscent of one of the Batmobiles.
    I could almost cream my jeans! That car is SWEET!

  31. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    I went and saw it in real life the other day. I t I s a b s o l u t e l y g o r g e o u s ! I can go in debt for this car if they produce it. Puuuggghhhllleeeezzzzzz make it.

    Did I mention, it was stunningly gorgeous?! It was kinda stealing the show.

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