This is not a rotary engine rumor. Repeat: This is not a rotary engine rumor.
Mazda has been doing great things over the past few years. The company remains independent and sticks to its strengths by not trying to build a car for everyone. Instead, its vehicle lineup is kept simple and strong. The result is that Mazda has a loyal customer base, with models like the CX-5 crossover and the MX-5 roadster impressing buyers and journalists alike.
Mazda does have a history of building cool and edgier cars, and it seems twice a year Mazda likes to stoke the idea of a rotary engine comeback. This is not that rumor circling again. Instead, Japanese website Best Car is confident Mazda is preparing a 355-horsepower 4-door sporty car with coupe-like styling.
The rumor starts with Best Car, but the website cites no sources when it claims the powerful 4-door "coupe" could debut within months. It would be easy to dismiss, but Mazda has clearly been thinking about building a sporty 4-door car again for some time.
The RX-8 was the last one Mazda built and that was a 4-door coupe, if you accept the term, with a rotary engine. Mazda's RX Vision Concept stoked the rotary engine comeback fire, then Mazda showed off the Vision Coupe that uses the brands Kodo design language and suggests a 4-door sports car is truly on Mazda's agenda again. This would be the road-going version of that.
Going back to the rumor mill, there has been a lot of talk about Mazda developing a rear-drive platform that it could share with Lexus to offset development costs. That would also be the perfect platform to show off Mazda's slick compression ignition system as well as the new inline-six engine featuring mild hybrid technology that Mazda has said would roll out somewhere between 2020 and 2025.
Everything appears to add up to the return of an edgy and technologically advanced rear-wheel-drive 4-door sports car for Mazda. The RX-8 never quite got the respect the previous RX-7 garnered over its production run, and no doubt Mazda would love to have another crack at that. Here's hoping it happens and it's called the RX-9.