Please, please let this report of the RX-9 debuting in 2020 be true.
Ever since Mazda debuted the RX-Vision concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show all anyone wanted to know is when the hell the RX-9 would be built. Mazda has moved away from its zoom-zoom image but the rotary-powered RX models are iconic, and we’re sure the automaker could make the famously thirsty engine just a little more efficient thanks to its SkyActiv tech. Now it appears we may have an answer to the question we’ve been asking for years: Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine says the RX-9 has been greenlit and will go on sale come 2020.
Holiday Auto notes that the design of the car will change considerably from the RX-Vision concept. It has produced these new renderings showing what it believes will be its look. While the RX-9’s shape is currently unknown (these are just renderings after all) the Japanese outlet is reporting that it will be powered by two 800cc rotors for a total displacement of 1.6 liters. Thanks to turbocharging and the possible use of HCCI compression ignition (using compression to cause combustion instead of a spark). The total power output of this engine is predicted to be 400 horses. It's said weight will come in at around 2,800 pounds. Oh, and it will be a two-seater like the RX-7. (For all intents and purposes the RX-8 was a two-seater.)
Although the car has been given the go-ahead, along with its design and powertrain, there won’t be a full-blown concept shown anytime soon. Holiday Auto is saying a prototype will be shown at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show followed by the real deal at the 2019 version of the show. Finally, Holiday Auto says the new RX-9 will come in right around $80,000 when it finally goes on sale. Yeah, that’s just a bit of a price bump over the RX-8. But a price around that point would make some sense given Mazda’s desire to move upmarket. While Holiday Auto just dropped a lot of knowledge there’s a chance that some of the stuff it's reporting could change. There’s a lot of time between 2016 and 2020 after all.
Still, a lot of what we’re hearing sounds good. We’re not so sure Mazda will want to add another two-seater to its lineup, though, so we wouldn’t be shocked if two barely there back seats pop up once the RX-9’s final form is shown. The horsepower wars are in full swing so an engine making 400 horsepower sounds reasonable to us. That much power via so little displacement may seem a tall order but remember that automakers like Volvo have been getting crazy power from four-cylinder engines recently. Regardless of what it looks like, how much power it makes or what it costs we’re glad to hear that the RX-9 is maybe on its way.