The Rotary Engine is alive in the Mazda RX-Vision Concept

It has been years since the last Wankel Rotary engine rolled down the Mazda production line in the RX-8, but Mazda has continued development of the rotary now called SkyActiv-R. Mazda used this year's Tokyo Motor Show to showcase the current SkyActiv-R in a lovely two-seat performance GT concept, the RX-Vision. The RX-Vision could be the next RX model (RX-9?) and would make a nice addition to Mazda's line-up. Not much info is given, but the car looks production ready with few changes. The interior looks done. The RX-Vision is a further evolution of Mazda's KODO design language and a proper showcase for Mazda's SkyActiv-R engine. Remember that the rotary engine was known for its poor fuel economy, higher emissions, but with excellent power output in relation to the engine's size and smooth running. Maybe Mazda has found some solutions. I always thought that a small Wankel engine would make a good range-extended engine for EVs, but what do I know? Regardless of the performance engine under the hood, the RX-Vision would give Mazda speed fans something to lust after and ultimately buy. How about it Mazda? For more info, check out the releases after the jump.

Source: Mazda - Press releases after the "read More" jump.

Press Release:
Mazda Reveals Mazda RX-VISION Concept

  • Powered by next-generation rotary engine SKYACTIV-R, represents Mazda’s vision of the future
Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled the rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. The rotary engine is a symbol of the company’s “never-stop-challenging” spirit.

RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality; a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, KODO design-based proportions only Mazda could envision, and powered by the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine.

Rotary engines feature a unique construction, generating power through the rotational motion of a triangular rotor. Overcoming numerous technical difficulties, Mazda succeeded in commercializing the rotary engine, fitting it in the Cosmo Sport (known as Mazda 110S overseas) in 1967. As the only automaker to mass-produce the rotary engine, Mazda continued efforts to improve power output, fuel economy and durability, and in 1991 took overall victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans with a rotary engine-powered race car. Over the years, the rotary engine has come to symbolize Mazda’s creativity and tireless endeavor in the face of difficult challenges.

While mass production is currently on hold, Mazda has never stopped research and development efforts towards the rotary engine. The next rotary engine has been named SKYACTIV-R, expressing the company’s determination to take on challenges with convention-defying aspirations and the latest technology, just as it did when developing SKAYCTIV TECHNOLOGY.

“I look forward to talking with you more about this vision we have revealed here today at the Mazda stand,” said Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO, Masamichi Kogai. “Mazda will continue to take on new challenges in an effort to build a special bond with our customers and become their ‘one and only’ brand.”

Press Release 2:
Mazda RX-VISION rotary sports car concept 
A vision of the future that harbors the soul of the Mazda brand 

Mazda’s vision is to deliver true driving pleasure that will earn its cars a position as the customer’s partner, and will enrich their motoring lives. That motivates Mazda to continually defy convention and push the boundaries, building cars that match its unique vision. 

Mazda is the only carmaker in the world to successfully bring to market and mass-produce the rotary engine. It is a symbol of the company’s tirelessly challenging spirit and, as the soul of the Mazda brand, it represents the unique and innovative technology that helped establish the brand and create a solid bond between Mazda and its customers. That is why rotary engine research and development continues today, even though there are no rotary-powered cars in the current product lineup. 

The Mazda RX-VISION rotary sports car concept introduces the next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine and Mazda’s vision of the ultimate in front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car styling. Making its world premiere in Tokyo, the RX-VISION represents a vision of the future that harbors the soul of the Mazda brand. 

One-of-a-kind FR proportions born of KODO design and the rotary engine 
RX-VISION adopts the beautiful proportions of an FR sports car as could only be envisioned by Mazda. The styling is modern but maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity, encapsulating Mazda’s entire history of sports car design. 

A low and wide body, short overhangs and taut cabin make the model immediately recognizable as a sports car. These elements combine with the low overall height and incredibly low hood made possible by the compact and lightweight next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine to create truly one-of-a-kind proportions. 

The design aim was to shave away all but the essentials and give birth to the dynamic tension and ambience of a machine that is all business. The fine craftsmanship of Mazda’s renowned clay modelers creates reflections that convey motion and thereby capture the spirit of the KODO design language without relying on character lines or other such elements. It is an elegant and highly vital form that changes expression with the slightest change of viewing angle. 

A special red chosen for the body color features both energetic brightness and depth. It helps bring out the luster and contrast between light and shadow that are present on the RX-VISION. 

Weaving some design motifs that reflect the history of Mazda sports cars into the design of the RX-VISION expresses Mazda’s unchanging passion for the sports car. 

For the interior, the design team pursued an ultimately simple yet powerful image, while fusing it with the tactile feel of handcrafted work and a sophisticated mechanical expression. Intricate instruments give the cockpit a true machine appeal, which in combination with the simple instrument panel and genuine leather trim with a saddle motif for the center tunnel create an interior atmosphere that speaks of handcrafted warmth and quality yet maintains a sense of tension. 

The next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine aims toward the future 
Working to realize the ideal internal combustion engine, Mazda returned to the drawing board and built the SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine and SKYACTIV-D diesel engine from scratch. 

Even after discontinuing production of the RX-8 in 2012, Mazda continued research and development to further evolve the rotary engine. This next-generation rotary engine has been christened SKYACTIV-R, a name intended to represent the company’s firm resolve in applying the most advanced technologies and the same high aspirations that yielded SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY towards achieving a breakthrough in addressing the three key issues with rotary engines — fuel economy, emissions performance and reliability. 

Mazda will never stop challenging to deliver new rotary engines that provide its unique brand of driving pleasure.

Mazda RX-VISION major specifications 
Seating capacity - 2 persons 
Overall length x width x height - 4,389mm x 1,925mm x 1,160mm 
Wheelbase - 2,700mm 
Engine - SKYACTIV-R 
Powertrain - Front engine, rear-wheel drive 
Tires Front: 245/40R20 / Rear: 285/35R20 
Rim width Front: 9.5J / Rear: 11J