A few months ago we told you about a report that hinted towards the introduction of a much-awaited Mazda RX-8 successor, again equipped with the trademarked rotary engine.
We can now say there’s another report that confirms that the Japanese automaker has not given up on the plans, and after years of hints, promises and denials the make is finally closer to the re-launch of its rotary engine. The only thing is that the development process has been postponed even further – the reported launch date of 2017 is now valid for the car’s concept and the production model would only come another three years later, in 2020.
The other news is that the RX-8 successor (reports say Mazda has also trademarked the RX-9 nameplate) would have a different usage pattern for the rotary engine: the very compact assembly would put to good use its advantages and get rid of disadvantages (RX-8 owners know what we’re talking about) via a plug-in hybrid setup.
The unusual engine configuration – often called the Wankel engine – was Mazda’s signature (just as the boxer is for Subaru) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The design has been since abandoned, with the RX-8 model axed in 2011.
Now, the automaker is confident it made enough progress to have another go in 2017, when the concept should arrive in time to celebrate 50 years since the appearance of the Cosmo Sport model, the first Mazda equipped with a Wankel engine.