One step closer to making this a production reality.
It's one of the worst-kept secrets at Mazda today: the fact that it's working on a new rotary engine for a production car. We've seen evidence of such a project, specifically the stunning RX Vision concept that debuted a few years ago at Geneva. Since then, Mazda has neither confirmed nor unconfirmed if it'll make production. But new evidence has come to light. We spoke to Mazda Vice President for R&D at Frankfurt last week and learned that its ongoing SkyActiv engine development program includes plans for a new rotary.
"A rotary is just one of the advancements we're making in SkyActiv," Tanaka-san told us. "Right now, the focus is on SkyActivX, but we have a multi-year plan in place for our engines – before eventual hybridization and electrification." Given that, the question is what future car will utilize that rotary? Auto Express has learned that next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda will unveil an updated RX Vision concept. Now, this is very good news because automakers often times release a concept, display it at a few shows, and we never see or hear from it again. In Mazda's case, bringing an evolved (i.e. closer to production ready) concept based on a previous one is a clear-cut sign production is likely.
Put the pieces together – ongoing rotary engine development and this upcoming RX Vision II concept – and Mazda's intentions are clear. Of course it's not saying anything on record just yet; things can always change at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. But business has been good for Mazda lately and with the cash infusion, fun projects like a reborn rotary engine and its accompanying sports car are possible. Our best guess is this will all come together for 2020, just in time for Mazda's 100th anniversary.