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5 September 2017

Mazda is bringing out a production rotary!

By James LisleJames Lisle
With Mazda's upcoming release of its revolutionary HCCI engines, there's no knowing what's to happen next.

It’s for real this time. It’s for real this time!

As if our prayers to God were answered, Mazda announced in an interview with Wheels that they will be bringing out a successor to the much loved rotary-powered Mazda RX-8 in 2020. Just in time for Mazda’s centenary.

But wait... Haven’t we heard this before. Again, and again, and again? Why yes. Yes we have.

As if to keep dragging rotary heads along non-stop, Mazda has constantly muttered sweet nothings to fans across the world, endlessly promising that somewhere, somehow, there’ll be a worthy successor to Mazda’s best. Yet it never seems to come.

We first heard rumours of a successor back in, oh it must’ve been 2010, back when Titus was finishing off the Colosseum. It was then that Mazda suggested they would use their 16X engine concept in the much-anticipated sports car; that despite the fiscal and practical limitations, it would be lightweight and focused. A real driver’s car that would debut in late-2013. Some even rumoured later in 2011 that it would get laser ignition.

When news got out about the possibility of a new rotary-powered Mazda, the internet exploded with fan made renders. When news got out about the possibility of a new rotary-powered Mazda, the internet exploded with fan made renders.

Then Mazda titillated everyone again in 2014, saying that the rear-wheel drive coupe would arrive in 2017 with 335kW and a brace of turbos. Then there was the RX-VISION concept in 2015 and the suggestion that it would use compression ignition. Then in 2016 there were rotary patents, before the CEO deflated the mood, declaring that a successor probably wouldn’t happen. Then they changed their minds. Then in March 2017 there were even more patents, this time focusing on a range extender. Then they hinted that said range extender would run on hydrogen. And on and on and on it goes. #WasteHisTime2017

While we aren’t denying the possibility that maybe, one day, a successor (physical or spiritual) to the Mazda RX-7/RX-8 will eventually hit the shelves, we’re simply urging our rotary brethren to stay calm in the meantime. Meeting emissions regulations and fuel efficiency expectations are hard on the dreams of rotary engineers.

But that being said, if anyone can do it - it’d be the SKYACTIV boffins at Mazda.

Would you still be interested in the RX-9 if it was a series hybrid? What’s the maximum you’d expect to pay for it? Tell us what you think in the comments below.