The Mazda RX-8 will be replaced – but this time, the super-smooth rotary engine will be much less thirsty, thanks to hybrid technology borrowed from Toyota. And a Mazda source in Japan has confirmed that development of the newcomer – likely to be dubbed RX-9 – is well underway.
Our exclusive image shows how the car could look, revealing styling inspired by 2010’s Shinari four-door coupé concept. That means flowing lines and sharp edges, suggesting the agility Mazda sports cars have become synonymous with.
It dumps the RX-8’s innovative four- door set-up, but it’s under the bonnet that the biggest changes come. Using technology borrowed from partner Toyota, the rotary engine will now become a range-extender – a petrol motor that helps keep a bank of lithium-ion batteries topped up, similar to the system in Vauxhall’s Ampera.
“Smaller, lighter, cleaner, more efficient and fun to drive. That’s where we want to take the next rotary car,” said our Mazda source. To make it lighter, the RX-9 will actually be based on the new MX-5 platform, which uses Mazda’s weight-saving SKYACTIV technology.
However, for now, the RX-9 will play second fiddle to the roadster. “We must give priority to the next generation MX-5,” said our source. “We only have a small band of guys working on the RX-9.”
Expect it to be launched in late 2013. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express