Mazda has reportedly signed off on long-awaited rotary-powered sports car

The long-awaited, rotary-powered Mazda RX-9 has reportedly been signed off by Mazda’s board, and is set for launch in 2020.

According to, a prototype RX-9 is expected to debut at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show next year, with the production version following at the same show in 2019. A 2020 launch would coincide with Mazda's centenary celebrations.

Hope that Mazda might finally replace the much-loved RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars started to grow when it showed the RX-Vision concept (pictured here) in Tokyo last year. Since then, Mazda has played its cards close to its chest, but has trademarked the RX-9 name and approved the car’s design, engineering, and production, according to the reports.

It’s thought the RX-9’s styling will be less radical than the RX-Vision, but will share its classic long-nose, short-tail proportions, albeit within a shorter length. The front is likely to more closely resemble the rest of the current Mazda range, with a higher bonnet line to satisfy pedestrian protection rules. It should still be suitably low and sleek, though.

The new-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine will be shared with the concept, however. It’s thought to be a 1.6-litre twin-rotor unit (800 cubic centimetres each) featuring compression ignition and turbocharging to produce around 400 horsepower. In a car weighing less than 2,900 pounds (1,300 kilograms), performance should be ample. A transaxle gearbox should ensure even weight distribution and pinpoint handling, too.


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