Does Mazda Have a 400-HP RX-9 In the Works for 2019?
Rumors of the rotary’s return refuse to die.
Of all the rumors bouncing around the automotive world, perhaps none is quite as perennial as the story that Mazda will resurrect the rotary-powered sports car from the grave. So we can't say we're shocked to hear a new report that the Zoom-Zoom folks may be planning a new RX-9 sports car for a production debut in 2019. But what sets this rumor apart from the rest of the pack are a few details about what exactly that car will be: specifically, how powerful, how light, and how expensive.
Part 1: The power. According to the report, which comes to us from Japanese website Holiday Auto by way of Autoblog, the new RX-9 will be powered by a 1.6-liter twin-rotor Wankel engine assisted by a turbocharger. All that, reportedly, adds up to an output of around 400 horsepower. Which would be impressive no matter what, but is doubly so, considering...
Part 2: The weight. The report also states that Mazda engineers are shooting for a curb weight of 1,300 kilograms—a hair less than 2,900 pounds, in imperial units. That would give the RX-9 roughly the same power-to-weight ratio as a new Corvette Grand Sport. Better yet, that minimal mass will reportedly be equally spaced out over both front and rear axles for better handling.
Part 3: The price. Just because the rumored RX-9 comes from a mainstream manufacturer doesn't mean it'll have a mainstream price. According to Autoblog, the Holiday Auto piece claims the car will cost close to ¥8 million—nearly $80,000 at current exchange rates. Granted, that's not cheap—but keep in mind the 1993 RX-7's base price of $33,135 translates to $55,182 in 2016. And that's without factoring in all the technological advancements that have led automotive prices to rise far faster then inflation.
Of course, the provenance of this news is still up in the air. We'd fact-check it ourselves, but it seems Holiday Auto has somehow raised a red flag with the zealous Time Inc. Information Security Team—the site has been blocked off from us as potentially hazardous. So, y'know, don't go cash in your kid's college fund to place a down payment just yet. At the very least, wait until the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon in January, when Mazda will reportedly show off a new concept car offering a taste of the new car.
Pictured: Mazda RX-Vision Concept