• Sammy Dabdoub

Is the Mazda RX-9 Really Happening?

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Mazda Usa | RX-VISION Concept | 2015

Although nothing is 100% confirmed just yet, there are lots of rumors suggesting the people at Mazda are in the process of creating a successor to the RX-8 and iconic RX-7. It would, of course, be called the RX-9, as the next iteration in the series. The company’s head of design has confirmed that a new car based on the RX-Vision Concept is a genuine possibility, so what do we know about it and what should we expect? 

Those are the questions we’re looking to answer today. We know some things from rumors that are coming from the top of Mazda. Find out what we know and what the rumors are telling us about the Mazda RX-9 and how sure we can be that it’s even happening at all by reading on below.

When’s the Mazda RX-9 Arriving?

The rumors surrounding the Mazda RX-9 have been around for a long time. They can be traced back to 2016, and back then it was speculated that the RX-9 would be previewed at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show, but that never happened. It was later speculated that it would be released in January 2020. The significance of that date being the 100th anniversary of Mazda. However, that date has obviously come and gone and the RX-9 is still little more than rumor. 

We can’t know for sure when the Mazda RX-9 is going to be launched. There has been no official announcement from Mazda and that’s one of the reasons why there are still rumors going around and people are still talking and anticipating the possibility of a new RX. It’s still hoped that the car will be revealed and maybe even launched at some point in 2020, but the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic throws another potential wrench into the process. 

In terms of the price, we can make a call that’s likely to be accurate based on what we know, even if the RX-9 hasn’t even officially been announced by Mazda yet. We can do this by looking at the prices of comparable cars and what the RX-9 is likely to offer. If and when it arrives, it’ll be Mazda’s flagship sports car and if it’s competing directly with cars such as the Toyota Supra as you’d expect it to, the cost should be in the similar ballpark of $50-60,000 after options.

Will it Have the Rotary Engine?

One of the biggest questions most people are asking about the potential new Mazda RX-9 relates to its engine and whether or not it’s going to use a rotary engine like the past RX models have. There are plenty of things to discuss around this topic thanks to patents and other rumours coming out of Mazda. Right now, it looks as if there will be a rotary hybrid drivetrain, but this is far from a certainty. Earlier rumors suggested that it wouldn’t have a rotary engine but consensus now seems to have shifted on that topic.

A Japanese Mazda blog uncovered a patent from the company that seems to suggest that there’ll be a front engine with rear drive capacity and two-wheel electric hub motors for the front axle. This patent also depicts a Wankel rotary engine. It’s important to make clear that this patent can’t be linked to any potential new RX-9 with any real certainty; that’s not something that the patent states or outlines. But people are making that connection and that assumption and it’s quite sensible to do so.

Some think that there’s a chance that the engine in this patent could be adapted for the RWD Mazda 6 but that seems unlikely due to other patents that have already been filed and are assumed to be linked to that model having a straight-six. The double-wishbone suspension shown in the newest patent and the small engine size and bay shown suggest it is for the RX-9. After all the RX-9 would be a powerful sports car and those things are all associated with sports cars of that kind, so it would certainly make sense.

The Expected Specs

Anyone interested in the new Mazda RX-9 will be keen to learn more about the specs. We’re hearing some things that suggest certain things about the RX-9’s specs, and we’ll know for sure later. That’ll come when the people at Mazda decide that the time is right for them to properly release the details of the RX-9 and announce it openly. We can take a look at the RX-Vision to get a better understanding of the likely and expected specs of the RX-9.

The engine will likely be smoother and lighter thanks to the new design and the lack of moving parts. Some expect the engine to offer 400hp and others are talking about a number closer to 300hp like the base Supra. Either way, we’d expect the car to perform at a level that would make it able to go from 0 to 60mph in the 4 second range It would have good handling and a low center of gravity and an overall lightweight build. With turbocharging in place and advanced ignition systems, there should be a lot to love about the RX-9.

Mazda USA | RX-VISION Concept | 2015

If the interior of the RX-9 is modelled after the interior of the RX-Vision concept, we can expect a clean and minimalistic dashboard and overall aesthetic. It would have an infotainment system and the other gadgets and comforts that we all expect from our road cars these days. That would obviously be different for any iteration of the RX-9 that was focused on competitive track racing.

A lot of fans of the RX models will hate the idea of the model being released without the trademark rotary engine that we so strongly associate with it. It remains to be seen exactly what the new Mazda RX-9 will offer and what the exact situation with the engine will be, but we’re excited to see it on the road nonetheless and believe that this will be a reality sometime soon.

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