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Latest RX-7 News - Debunking Dates, Nagare Design, Flex Fuel Rumors
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 11:59am

It seems every week there is a new article out there from some website or magazine that claims to have the inside line on the next RX-Series car. Most of the recent rumors are laughable to those in the know, yet there isn't a good source to debunk these rumors, such as the recent article about the RX-7/RX-9. The problem with the rumors is they raise enthusiast's expectations, but also pacifies them just enough to keep them from contacting the manufacturer or dealers about their desire for a new car. When the manufacturer sees they are no longer being contacted by enthusiasts, other projects are then put ahead of the halo cars like the RX-7. There are other consequences, such as the research and market testing departments conducting surveys about what the features next cars should have. The responses can be tainted by the un-true circulating rumors. ... Well... there are a ton of these rumors going around. We'll give our take on some them.

1. RX-7/RX-9 will be shipping in 2013. In order for this to happen, the a RX-7 concept would need to be shown very, very soon. It may not be the same four+ year process as the RX-Evolv-to-RX-8 went through, but two years is pushing it. The concept of a sports car is fairly standard. The RX-8's concept of a 4-door-sports-car was a new one for the RX-Evolv in 1999, it took over 4 years to bring that to market after the concept was accepted. Since there will be no Tokyo Autoshow in 2010 (it is a commercial truck show every even year, and a passenger car show every odd year) the time-line to produce a RX-7 becomes even more compressed. Tokyo is more than likely where the concept car would debut, however there are other choices...

2. NAGARE Design Mazda has retired their 'flow' design, Nagare. It is now aiming to rediscover it is a premium and sporty brand, they call it the Japanese Alfa Romeo. According to Mazda Europe's Design Directory Peter Birtwhistle in an interview with Auto Express, Mazda will present a new Concept Car at the next 2010 Paris Motor Show. Typically concepts shown at Eurpoean autoshows have been small-city type vehicles. Look for more concepts at the LA Autoshow this December, or Detroit Autoshow in January 2011. However our money is on the 2011 Tokyo Autoshow for a concept RX-7. But is two years from concept to production enough time for the next generation RX-7? There are many unanswered questions... The concept image shown on the right here could have been a design direction the RX-7 took if they didn't kill the Nagare design language. Since no production car after the Mazda 5 will have the design language, any past concepts are out the window.

3. The next generation rotary will run Diesel and Gasoline, and be a two-stroke ... um .. where to begin with this one... First off, the 16x is being developed as a FLEX fuel engine, meaning Ethanol + Gasoline mixture, not a Diesel and Gas mix. We at RotaryNews think someone was told it would be flex fuel, and they in turn though it meant "Diesel and Gas' ... but that is not the definition of Flex-Fuel in the American Automotive Lexicon. Second, we think that same person may be hard of hearing. The 16x is referred to as a "LONG STROKE" engine, not "TWO STROKE". The dimensions, when compared to the current 13b based RENESIS are 'stroked out' like a piston engine would be stroked. In other words, Mazda completely changed the engine dimensions such as the Trochoid shape and width of the Rotor Housings.

There are other reasons to take these rumors with large grains of salt. The economy is still very fragile, and while Mazda is in a relatively solid financial position, they are not about to blow a ton of money on concept designs and prototypes on a low-volume halo car. If the economy improves in 2011 and 2012, they could be willing to give it a shot. Lastly, the Oil shock of 2008 is still in the minds of Mazda. They do not want to negatively impact the overall fuel economy of their fleet. The next generation must be more efficient than the RX-8 and previous RX-7 generations, or else it will not be built.

If you are interested in letting Mazda know that you want a new RX-7, visit your Mazda dealership and let the General Manager know your opinion. Next, call Mazda Customer Center at 1-800-222-5500... And finally, leave feedback on this site, replying to this article.

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November 24, 2010 - 5:07am
If mazda wants to make the next RX-7 a success they need to do what they did when they made the FC RX-7 in the mid 80's. They had a cheap rx-7 normally aspirated, and then they had an expensive rx-7 that was turbo charged. Mazda needs to do this again, offering a cheap watered down rx-7 and then a better rx-7 with more power and better suspensions, wheels, lighter hood etc. Why is this so hard for mazda? Look at what happened in the 90's with the FD. There was only ONE expensive turbo model that no one could afford and that equalled failure! Mazda, stop trying to re-invent the wheel, do what you did in the mid 80's, give us a cheap rx-7 and then a turbo rx-7, if I remember correctly the price of the cheap rx-7 back then was like 18k and the more expensive turbo was like 24k; this made everyone happy as you were able to pick what you wanted. Give us a new rx-7 normally aspirated and then give the turbo option. If you really want to do something crazy to draw attention to yourself and to keep up with nissan GTR and fast corvettes etc, then also give us a limited edition 3-rotor turbo. Also, mazda r&d you should know by now to allow for a 3 rotor engine to fit into the existing chassis easily without too much modifications. This will allow for a bigger engine to go into car when it starts to sell well. The time is now, I am in desperate need of a new sports car and I think I may convert to corvette or porsche if you don't do something fast. Thanks
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flooding problem?
January 22, 2011 - 6:11pm
E-mail me the explanation of your trouble, how much time and money have yoou spent dealing with this and how many time your car has been towed/gone to a mechanic. Collecting names to get some type of action against Mazda e-mail to
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16X + RX-01/Kabura please
October 22, 2010 - 8:20am
I loved the RX-8, but it would've been better had it been closer to the RX-01 concept.

I don't care if the 16X makes more peak power than the 13B-MSP, as long as the next RX weighs less than 2600 pounds, has RWD and a 6MT, is cheap, gets approx 20/30 MPG city/highway, and seats 3 (think Kabura).
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Reasonable RX-7 Yes, FB re-run NO WAY
August 14, 2010 - 11:34am
Honestly, to whoever said ths FC killed the RX-7 needs to lay off the hard drugs. The FB in it's first year sold under 30,000 units. In 86, the FC sold over 80,000 units. That's more than the FD did in it's entire run in the US. Sorry, live-axle and recirculating-ball steering FB combined with 1146cc engine doesn't compare to a turbo 13B FC, rack and pinion, independent suspension, and the R-series transmission. The FD although great, went too far. Too expensive, too complicated with sequential turbos. Yeah it can out-perform a 13B-T, but is really very similar. It has better croming on the housing and other things, but miles of vacuum hoses was a huge mistake. Oh, and you had to be a little guy to fit in it.

To make an FB re-run would be product cannibalization. All the cute little FB owners bought Miatas.(LOL!) Seriously though, the people who wanted a feather-weight sports car, they already have it. People jumped into the FB 'cause there was no Miata and it was 5 grand less than the Z at the time. The RX-8 failed because they went for 9000 rpm NA power, got less power and worse milage than a superior 350z, or any other rotary.

I remember all the hype about the Renesis and how great it was going to be. All the wild figures about fuel savings and increased HP was ALL BS. My 13B-turbo has more horsepower, doesn't have under oil-metering problem(pre 09 RX-8), burns less oil, and gets better mileage. Oh yeah, and it responds well to turbo charging.

If Mazda is listening at all, the only way I'd buy the new RX-7 if it was actually better than my 89 RX-7 Turbo!!!!
1. Make it under 3000 lbs, not a miata
2. Must have an engine actually better than the 13B-T!.. cause you haven't beat it yet. Forget the side-exhaust port garbage, forget 9,000 rpm, and we can leave that 13mpg garbage behind
3. 300hp with mid 20's avg mpg.. better get 30-ish on hwy!
Take 13B-design, use direct injection, newer housing chroming/coating, and new ECU (faster than 8-bit lol!). This is where the real engineering comes in. Figure it out and we'll pay.
4. LSD/good suspension as mazda usually does.
5. Impressive modern body & interior
6. Price lower than 350z.

You do this you'll smoke Nissan and will beat out the FT-86. Otherwise I'll keep giving my money to BMW....
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Well since no one else on har
August 23, 2010 - 10:05pm
Well since no one else on hard drugs cares to respond to your remarks to my post, all of which were taken out out of context...

I said the FC killed off the RX7 CLUB, which was 100,000 strong, by going so far upscale that it wasn't even in the same affordable and capable sportscar. It was a boulevard car. 500 lbs heavier and an FB is easily tweaked to out perform most, even all 2nd gens.

Tell me what happens when you stick an nice Turbo motor in a light first gen with tuned suspension? A rocket.

I have 3 TIIs and an '89 convertible at the moment, an '85 SE, and an '83 S/SE also and they all have their own personality.

Tell me how superior the FC and FD are to maintain...they're nightmares.

3,000 lbs? are you crazy? Guess you never drove a set up '81 RX7 weighing under 2,100 lbs.

I've been driving new RX3s and 2s since '73. I was getting 31 mpg hwy on my ported '76 RX4 at 80 mph, low 20s in town. You can build anything if you try long enough.

Keep your beemer, lol...don't they make a 2 seater?

You just don't get what RX7 means...a 2,300 lb lightweight simple rotary engine sportscar with minimum 300 HP...not a GT car, not an exotic car.

Mazda has everything they need...a Miata/RX8 platform, a 16X base motor say 280 horse, a 20B N/A option$ at about 375 hp would be about right.

Wrapped up in FD timeless styling, not the weird concept stuff that already gets dated in a couple years.

Now I gotta go...I need to work on the glitches on my FCs. My 1st gens and old Miata anybody can work on.

I love all gens, they all have their short comings. That's why they need to get the next one right. Simple, reliable, efficient, quick and fast.

We don't need another over engineered fat sporty car.
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I'll keep trying....
August 6, 2010 - 1:25pm
I have posted on here and mostly the site over the years. I have even written directly to MazdaUSA through their website. I keep trying, but have largely given up because they just don't listen. I try to keep my ideas somewhat realistic.

Mazda. Stop dragging your feet. There is no need to sweat a multi-billion dollar new-car development.

Step 1 - MX-5 roadster (Boxster competition)

Step 2 - RX-7 = MX-5 platform, coupe, add EXISTING RENESIS drivetrain geared for better highway economy. RENESIS is well suited for the size/weight(Cayman competition)

Step 3 - RX-8 platform, update styling and replace the Renesis with EXISTING MZR 2.3L turbo tweaked for RWD. This solves the lack of power/torque/economy) (Tune for 300hp, 300 tq, 30 mpg) (911 competition)

Make it happen, keep your fans happy!

PS - Mazda2 EPA 31mpg = FAIL
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A better idea than a new rotary sports car...
August 4, 2010 - 2:50pm
Let's face it: the market for a new sports car will always be limited, especially when times get tough as they are now. People simply don't go for "toys" and other highly discretionary purchases in bad times.

What does sell, and sell consistently? Light trucks.

Everyone remembers the 1974–1977 Mazda Rotary Engine Pickup (REPU) with fondness. The Ford Ranger–based Mazda B–series sold in North America was killed for 2010, so no light truck is presently in the line here, leaving a gap. Now is an opportunity for Mazda to build a new REPU with the Renesis.

Due to import tariffs on pickups, it would have to be built in North America, but so what? Though built in Japan, the original REPU was also sold only in North America (the B–series was not available in Japan at all after the early 1970s). Maybe the Renesis could even be adapted to a reskinned Ranger design, as that is the smallest pickup available in the US anyway. Then maybe a Renesis–powered *small* sport-utility could follow.

In the current climate, sports cars are a near-dead end. Everyone who wanted to buy a new RX-8 has, which is why its sales were dropping even before the economy tanked. Sports cars are also not viewed as particularly environmentally friendly, whereas vehicles with real utility are not so much under that gun.

I have long advocated that Mazda should offer a rotary-powered pickup and SUV, especially when the SUV market was booming several years ago. In that respect, the company did miss the ball. There's no reason it must continue to miss...
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July 26, 2010 - 8:42pm
You snooze, you lose. Mazda you have everything you need RIGHT NOW!.

You need an affordable RX7...LIKE MY 1sT GENS.

If you keep a 230 hp renesis type base motor you need to get it down to under 2400 LBS...LIKE MY 1st GENS. When I put my street port motor in my '81 it wails...when I put that same motor in a 2800 lb chassis it fails.

You can't put a 13b in a 2800 lb chassis and be taken seriously.

Just reskin an MX5 with FD world class style...and a 16X gas/hydrogen capable RE when ready.

If you won't build me a renesis N/A 3 rotor...well I'll just build my own.

Bought my first new RX3 and RX2 back in '73...light and fun...but waiting for a 240Z killer, you gave us the RX4, nice but not a 2 seater. Then you gave us the Cosmo I went and bought a new '76 RX4. Loved it ...and was rewarded with the RX7.

You then moved upmarket again with the FC and killed off the largest sportscar club in the world (100,000+)

Next you build us THE FD, so awesome...but 33,000 dollars for a Mazda in '92? ...what were you thinking? With no N/A option you sold 15,000 cars in 3 years.

We are not Porsche people.

Then you give us the RX8 for the same money, if you had called it a modern RX3 I would have understood that car...cause that's what it was.

We weren't asking for a 4 door, 4 seat 2800+ lb rotary engine car...who were you listening too, Ford?

If you CAN'T give me a basic RX7 S (and maybe an "SS" model) using off the shelf RX8 and MX5 components, well at least give me 16X MX5 fastback.

You should have built a 3 rotor N/A'd still be selling them, and racing them instead of a 4 door GTO car at Daytona...the best sounding racecar in the world since the LeMans winning 787B.

You dropped the 3 rotor LMP2 car for a piston program. Any body could have told you it was the team not the rotor motor. How's that working out?

You have Tri Point Engineering at your us all a favor and back them.

Time to lobby for a couple 4 rotor cars in Daytona Prototype and ALMS...they're ripe for new enties.
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July 26, 2010 - 2:01pm
i hesitate to talk to any general manager at a car dealer since my opinion of car dealers/salespeople are quite very low. but i will say that i totally understand that given the current market and slump in the economy, mazda needs to be careful w/ finances and product planning. the rotary for mazda has become the ultimate halo vehicle, and while i love the rotary engine and my rx-8, the next rotary powered sports car needs to bring vast improvements in fuel consumption and user-friendliness for the general public (ie reliable for the average joe who knows nothing about car maintenance). that mazda is a whiz at chassis tuning is a given and a fact in the automotive world, but these two points need to be addressed for the rotary if it were to succeed to an appreciable extent. i'll likely hang on to my rx-8 for the foreseeable future. but since i'm also a huge miata fan, how about a true coupe version of the miata in the mean time? like the "m coupe" concept based on the na. the folding hardtop is pretty nice but i'm sure there's quite a number of people who pine for a small 2-door fastback sports car based on the miata. mazda, you made those nb roadster coupes in japan. how about a run of those based on the nc or the next-gen miata and made available to the rest of the world? whatever you do, i probably will always look forward to owning the cars you make (and made)
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My thoughts
July 25, 2010 - 9:57am
I like the handling of the RX8 I haven't gotten to drive the Mx5, but I like the smaller car concept, getting back to the original roots like the first gen. I loved my little first gen when it was running can't wait to get my dads restored so I can borrow it a lot. :) For a new RX sports car I'd like some thing in that size range a little bit bigger than the MX5 smaller than the RX8, and make it a 3 seat for those odd occasions you need that one extra spot for a person this isn't a car meant to haul your family cross country and you don't need much luggage space to go away for a weekend with two people or to do a cross country cruise. also a small towing package that would allow to pull a small trailer for long trips like the make for the touring bikes would be perfect.
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My preference
July 24, 2010 - 8:50pm
I've owned a '84, '88 10th annv. turbo and still drive my '94. I've also owned a '04 Miata. Except for the flimsiness in engineering of the 84, I've enjoyed all of them. The '88 stood out for interior, it was a really stand out quality for the era. My FD is by far the best engineered and most fun to drive (if not a little punishing suspension). The 94 base price was around $32k, which personally I think is a great price point. A little higher than the typical $20-30k that most cars cost, but way less than the cost of comparable sports cars.

If I were to put out a new RX-7 I'd stick with the price point, build essentially a Lotus Evora at half the price. Make it light under 3000lbs (2800 base model would be nice, like the FD), make it fast 300HP+ and make it shine (nice interior and exterior design). I'd love the token 2+2 over the bigger hatch area, but I would't complain either way. I used to stuff friends under the hatch in the 1st/2nd gen and behind the seats in the 3rd gen, why not at least humor them with a place to sit.

As far as engine? That's a tough one, I'm not sure how much more they can squeeze out of the rotary design. I would go electric drive train, rotary power, no transmission and eventually go pure EV. I think electric motors are the closest in spirit to the Wankel, they ARE rotary designs after all...

A rotary at peak power and peak RPM could put out massive power and a good EV motor won't require any transmission which will recoup the weight gains. When cruising I'm sure they could get some pretty decent fuel milage with the rotary engine at max efficiency.

Eventually battery technology will be there and they can migrate from 1 to pure EV.

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New RX-7
July 24, 2010 - 4:19pm
I would love to see another RX-7. Build it off of a re-skined MX-5 in coupe or hatchback form at a price point of 25K-30K. This gets the car closer to its original roots as an inexpensive, fun car. The closer it is to an existing car the easier it is to justify production plus if it is close enough to the MX-5 it may be possible to share the production line as well. As a bonus using the MX-5 would allow for aftermarket parts (except anything engine related) to be available at the launch with some minor tweaks (if any).
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NO "halo" car, just a FUN car!
July 23, 2010 - 6:57pm
The last halo car nearly killed the Mazda rotary and even Mazda itself. The last thing they need is another one. What they need now is another home-run like the first-gen RX-7 or the MX-5 Miata. The concepts are the same: Light, cheap, FUN, cute, popular.

I like to think we can learn from history:
Cute, fun, cheap RX-7: 750,000 units (even with massive compromises)
Cute, fun, cheap Miata: 800,000+ units (even with "hairdresser car" stigma)
Exotic, fast, expensive FD: 40,000 units and 18 years of barren wasteland.

If they make another expensive car, that will bring certain death to the rotary. The key to rotary survival and development is volume. You can't justify R&D expenditures for a car that sell 5000 units a year. Now, with a car that sells 50,000+, there is some reason to spend all kinds of money. I think Mazda gets this. The relative success of the RX-8 is funding, politically as well as financially, current Wankel engine and car development at Mazda.

Whatever they make has to sell in volume to make it worthwhile. They tried an expensive uber-sports-car before and we haven't seen a new rotary coupe in eighteen years as a direct result. One more rotary flop and the Mazda Wankel is dead for sure.

Build a two-door, two-seat chassis pan, reusing as much from either the RX-8 or MX-5 as possible. Bolt-up the existing RX-8 subframes with fantastic suspension, steering, and engine. It will easily be 200 lbs lighter than the RX-8 and could be made even lighter with the slightest effort. Bump the engine to an honest 250 hp. Ease-up on the psycho-happy-face styling, price it at $30-35k. Sell it like hotcakes.
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