Mazda’s New ‘Vision’ Concept Probably Isn’t the Next RX Car

RX-9 concept? Probably not, but our fingers are crossed regardless.

byJames Gilboy| UPDATED Oct 13, 2017 9:26 AM
Mazda’s New ‘Vision’ Concept Probably Isn’t the Next RX Car

Mazda said in an announcement this week that plans to bring two new concept cars and its Skyactiv-X HCCI engine to their display at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, scheduled to run from Oct. 27 and Nov. 5. One car is referred to as a next-generation product concept model, and will presumably inform and represent changes to Mazda's design language for the majority of its fleet for the next several years. The second is referred to as a "next-generation design vision model," using a name last seen on Mazda's RX-Vision concept car from 2015. The name lineage alone was enough to excite some into assuming that the vision concept was the RX sports car series' rebirth into the market.

That said, there is little evidence to support this viewpoint, as the RX prefix is used nowhere in Mazda's sneak preview, and examination of the concept's silhouette reveals it to be a sedan, not a coupe. Two previous RX cars have had four doors, including the RX-8, with its suicide rear doors, and the Luce, known as the 929 to Americans, which was sold as the RX-9 when when equipped with a rotary engine. That said, the full-sized sedan that the unnamed vision concept resembles would be a departure from the RX badge's heritage, the original RX-9 notwithstanding.

And the rotary-powered Cosmo grand tourer? There's an equal amount of evidence for that car's revival, which is to say, none.

The Drive reached out to Mazda for more information on the vision concept, but was directed to a similar press release, with no new information.

We know that the next generation of the rotary sports car engine is in development, and it could use a variety of technologies new to rotary engines, including electric twincharging, regenerative braking to power a hybrid system to augment low-end torque, stop-start, variable exhaust valves, and port fuel injection. Mazda also spent much of this past spring celebrating their RX cars across various forms of media, to no discernible end.

There's enough evidence to say that Mazda's closer than ever to reviving the Wankel engine, but there's not enough to name the vision concept as the chariot to chauffeur our favorite oddball engine back into production. We'll know for sure in two weeks, when this year's Tokyo Motor Show kicks off.