Mazda has said it won’t bring a rotary sports car like the RX Vision to market anytime soon, as it doesn’t have the proper resources to do so. Mazda's head of research and development, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, told media at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show this week that it cannot bring a production rotary sportscar to market in time for its centenary anniversary in 2020. The arrival of the RX-7 successor may hinge on the success of its new Skyactiv-X compression-ignition gasoline engine. If the innovative four-cylinder mill can make Mazda some money, it will move onward to its rotary RX Vision project.
"If we achieve success [with Skyactiv-X] probably we can have money enough to invest in the next challenge, then we can judge to go ahead," Fujiwara told Motoring. "It's going to be too late to make the RX-Vision for the centennial.”
The automaker is currently working on both a rotary engine that can be used a hybrid range extender, and one that can power a sports car on its own. The automaker confirmed the EV with the rotary range-extender will arrive by 2019 or 2020, but didn’t provide an estimated arrival for the sports car. The good news is that Mazda is working on both a hybrid version and a version that would be rotary only. The hybrid vehicle would be tailored to cities and markets where combustion engines are banned, allowing it get around on electricity alone if needed.
"Most of the rotary engine fans are still waiting for a sports car with the rotary engine, therefore we are still developing the rotary engine as a sports car. No range extender, no e-power," Fujiwara said. "However some cities will ban combustion, therefore we need some additional portion of electrification because the driver can’t use this rotary sports car.”
"We would have two versions — it will be easy."
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