Is this the new Mazda RX-9?

Mazda has been without a performance halo since the RX-8 ended production in 2012. After more than a decade of hiatus, it seems the Japanese manufacturer is toying with the idea of a new RX-badged sports car.

Now, of course the automative landscape has changed dramatically since the last RX-8 rolled off the production line. The push for electrified and low emission vehicles means if Mazda was to bring out a new halo sports car today, it would have to have some sort of electrification, if not full electrification, to keep emissions in check.

We all know what the RX stands for and if the new model does not have a rotary Wankel engine then it can’t be considered an RX sports car. Well, according to sources the next generation RX-9 will still feature a dual-rotor Wankel engine, but unlike its predecessors the rotary engine will not drive the wheels directly. Instead it will be used as a range extender in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) setup.

The details are scarce but Mazda claims the RX-9 is targeting a 370hp (275kW) power figure with double the torque output at 550Nm. This may not seem like a lot for a sports car in today’s standard, however the company is set to keep the weight down. If the earlier RX-7 model is of any indication, we can expect the RX-9 to tip the scape at around 1.4 tonne. With such light weight to pull that power output should be enough to bring sizzling performance.

To proof how serious it is about the new RX-9, Mazda has even dropped some fancy renderings of the concept which will morph into the RX-9. It’s called the Iconic SP concept and it comes with all the hallmarks of an RX sports car – sculpted panels, long bonnet, pop-up headlights (that will be a challenge passing pedestrian safety regulations), wide haunches and curved rear windscreen.

But we’re more interested in the yellow RX-9 rendering by Rotor & Shaft, as the design has a better proportion and is more likely to make it to production.

 

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