A production version of the RX-Vision Concept could be cool, but don't get your hopes up quite yet.
Rumors from several websites in Asia claim that Mazda intends to debut a rotary-powered sports coupe called the RX-9 at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, and the model would allegedly go on sale in 2019. Unfortunately, none of these sources cite where these details come from, so we must treat these claims with a heavy dose of skepticism.
According to this scuttlebutt, the RX-9 takes liberal styling cues from 2015’s RX-Vision concept (pictured above). The vehicle allegedly uses Mazda’s newly patented rotary engine design that turns the layout 180 degrees from traditional applications. The switch moves the exhaust ports to the top of the powerplant for easier packaging exhaust manifold and presumed turbocharger. The mill would allegedly make in excess of 400 horsepower. The model’s overall weight would also be low at around 1,300 kilograms to 1,350 kg. For reference the current MX-5 tips the scales at 1,058 kg in softtop guise or 1,109 kg as the RF retractable hardtop.
These reports suggest the RX-9 could be Mazda’s most expensive vehicle ever with prices between 8 million and 10 million yen (approx. $90,000 - $110,000 CAD). If accurate, the cost means the RX-9 would be cheaper, but also less powerful, than Japanese halo models like the Nissan GT-R and Acura NSX, which each carry six-figure price tags.
The timing makes this rumour seem a little more likely because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Mazda Cosmo's original premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show. The company could commemorate the birth of its rotary legacy by introducing the RX-9 there. This is at least wishful thinking.
Mazda has also been dropping tiny hints about a debut of something special at the Tokyo show. For example, the company’s newsletter Zoom Zoom says: “And the story’s not over yet. Without the rotary engine, there would probably be no Mazda. And without Mazda, the rotary engine certainly wouldn’t have been in production for nearly 50 years.”
What makes us question this evidence is that Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai says that a sports car above the MX-5 isn’t in the brand’s plan. If the boss states that, we have to treat it with some merit.