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New Mazda Rotary Vehicles: RotaryNews predictions and speculation
Submitted by SuperUser on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 10:11pm

It has been rumored that Mazda would like to develop several Rotary powered vehicles to spread Rotary power across their product line. This would take advantage of and spread development cost of the RENESIS motor across a greater spectrum of cars. All these rumors and our wishful thinking, got RotaryNews speculating and predicting the future of the RENESIS motor and it's uses in different Mazda vehicles/platforms. RN recalls a time when Rotary power was available in a variety of vehicles, and we came up with some ideas based on rumors, lies and even a little fact. The fact that Mazda is really good at the front engine/rear wheel drive combination, like RX's and the Miata, and that the Rotary engine is well suited for this application, led us to some of the following conclusions: A new RX-3 Mazda might/could develop a lightweight, low price point, entry level, compact vehicle that would take advantage, of the RENESIS' newfound emissions and mileage standards. The vehicle could be made in the spirit of the RX-3 Coupe and would break away from the now all-consuming front-wheel drive entry level platforms of the market today. The car could be powered by a lower horsepower (160hp-180hp) version of the RENESIS that is easily tunable for higher horsepower, if so desired by new owners. This would hold price point and the ever-important CAF' emissions and mileage standards of the class. We feel that such a car should be priced in the 16K to 18K price range, to expose a whole new generation of young people to Rotary power. This would give Mazda a very unique vehicle for the entry market, which would definitely attract enthusiast of all types to its product line. What do you guys think of reviving the RX-3 name? It would definitely be cool to have a 'NEW' RX-3!! The new RX-7 The new RX-7 has been confirmed as 'coming soon', by a lot of industry folks and automotive publications. We cannot confirm this, but RN does know that a product has been developed and is being considered for production, but there are no firm production plans yet. But, based on our limited information and insight, gathered at a few press events and talking to industry people, here are a few predictions and thoughts on the new RX-7.

  • Larger displacement RENESIS motor with possible forced induction.
  • 300+hp regardless of the motor being N/A or turbo/super charged.
  • Lightweight (less than 2800lbs)
  • Extremely high handling limits
  • Unique styling and design
  • No compromises
Mazda understands that any new vehicle carrying the RX-7 moniker will have live up to the 3rd generation FD RX-7. We have actually been told as much by key Mazda people. They understand all of the shortcomings, and more importantly, the streghtens of the FD, and will/have addressed and/or improved on them, as to not make the same mistakes twice. The new RX-7 will be a car designed and built with the spirit of the FD, through and through! The RX-8 All we can say here is: MazdaSpeed-8! We hear that a blown version of the car is in the works as we write. No confirmation of this going into production, but the car should just plain rock! The concept has already been shown at the Tokyo Auto-Saloon, and with a little boost from a turbo or super charger, watch out! Rotary Truck One can only wish! However, there is no light weight 2x4 mini-trucks on the market right now that packs a punch. The REPU from the 70s was the origional "pickup with pickup." The B3000/Ranger have moved up-market, and have been up-sized, leaving room for a mini-truck with the RENESIS for those that needs the utility of a pickup, with Mazda's DNA, and the RENESIS. The future for the Rotary engine looks real bright at Mazda right now, and we hope that some of our thoughts, ideas and predictions, get you all thinking, the same way it did us. We'd love to hear what you all enthusiasts think of these ideas and predictions. They are really not as far fetched, as they might seem. Mazda is a car company looking to break away from the pack and we the enthusiasts, stand to win big! Please leave us your comments and input. We know Mazda is listening!

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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Build us an Rx-3 redux! And keep it simple stupid !

No standard air, spoilers, mp3, sunroof, alloy wheels. I'd like to see a basic & lightweight rwd driver's car built off a smaller platform. Could be coupe or sedan.

Something like a Datsun 510, Opel Manta, RX-3.
Doesn't need power, it needs handling and driving
excitement. An experience like the early Miatas gave you, felt like you were driving fast when you were doing 30 mph.

Something basic like the early '90s Nissan SE-R, no flashy plastic add-ons as standard equipment. No scoops, wings, stripes. Keep it light for autocross, but allow a long option list to load it up for boulevard appeal and corporate profit.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I don't know about the name, but I am definitely in favor of reviving the spirit. An FR, rotary-powered, low-priced coupe or sedan sounds great to me.

My hope is that, if Mazda drops factory forced induction from their rotary line up (for emissions, cost, warranty expenses, etc), they make the cars beefy enough to accept it from the aftermarket.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
... but whatever you do, make it RWD. FWD is extremely popular with the younger generation of drivers but, I feel, that is because that's all they've known. Look at the popular low-cost import cars of the '90s. Only the Nissan 240SX (equipped with a truck motor) and the Miata (which suffers from an excess of femininity in the early guises for many of us) offered a RWD platform.

The current import cars of the '90s that hold the most prestige and have increased in demand over the past couple of years are the turbo charged RWD versions of the RX-7, 300ZX, and (especially) the Supra.

An entry level, rotary powered, rear wheel drive coupe or sedan with real driving experience would give Mazda a nice, unique niche in the market place. Keep the standard equipment to the basics and let people add options to get what they want. To keep their costs down, Mazda can use Mazdaspeed to offer aftermarket forced induction.

Finally, for the next RX-7... My dream car would be one that combined the pure driving experience and lithe sleekness of the FD3S with the robustness and reliability of a Mark IV Supra TT. Well, technically, as a dream car, it would be all of that and free. ;)
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I'm about to buy a used MX-3, I've loved those cars since they came out. A lot of them are still on the road and commanding good prices still. The only complaint was that they were underpowered. That combined with an overall slump in sporty car sales at the time conspired to kill what was a wonderful car ahead of it's day.

To me, a revived MX-3 type based on the Protege' platform (as the original was) with either front or rear drive (RWD preferred, of course) and any kind of rotary would be a car I'd wait in line to buy. I've always loved a car that was sporty yet relatively economical and above all FUN.

Where would this car fit into the lineup? Think of it as the other end of a spectrum with the 3-door fastback RX-3 on one end, the 4-door sedan Protege in the middle, and the 5-door sportwagon Protege 5 at the other end. One platform, three flavors to suit a wide variety of small-car buyers.

The competition (most notably Honda and Nissan) produce a two-door spirty version of their entry-level small cars. An RX-3 would be just the right car to compete in that market niche.

I do think any future Mazdaspeed Protege would also benefit by utilizing the rotary motor, and a Mazdaspeed Miata with a rotary motor would also be ideal. I think the N/A 1.3 Renesis (either de-tuned or not) fits these small-car applications perfectly.

How then do you seperate these models from the uppermarket RX-8 and upcoming RX-7? Give the latter cars forced induction and more horsepower. Keep the Miata and the Protege line inexpensive, and allow a convertible RX-7 replace the Miata in the upmarket. Keep the Miata an entry-level driver's car. The Miata never competed well with the likes of BMW anyways. Let the RX-7 tackle that market segment, and give it the power and prestige to do it. Price will keep the cars from competing with one another, and expand the range of choices available in the Mazda lineup.

Eventually, I think the ideal goal should be to replace 4-cyl piston engines entirely. The reason is not simply performance, but also cost.

Right now, Mazda produces (that I know of) a 2.0L 4 for the Protege, a 1.8L 4 for the Miata, and a 2.6L 4 for the Mazda6. All produce well under 200HP. Why? One engine with at, near, or above 200HP could replace all these engines and improve specs in their respective cars. And of course one engine is cheaper to produce than three.

Add into that the fact that a rotary is cheaper (ideally) to produce than a piston engine of equivalent size. Rotary engines use a fraction of the number of moving parts that a piston engine does, by a factor of at least ten. The fewer the moving parts, the less machinery and manhours it takes to make.

Thus it makes sense to replace piston engines with rotaries. The only question is if the public will accept them. I think the tactic should be to offer the rotary as optional engines across the board and as they gain acceptance gradually faze out the piston engines, if possible.

If that is successful, fazing out the V-6 in the Mazda6 would be simple. Replace it with the forced-induction powerplant from the RX-7 and RX-8. At that point Mazda could power it's entire lineup with one engine in two or three variants, saving cost immensely over the halfdozen or more different engines they produce now.

Even more appealing is the idea of producing only RWD vehicles. There is screaming void in the market for RWD vehicles that aren't trucks or SUV's. In fact I think a large reason that those vehicles are so popular is that a significant portion of the American public is resistant to FWD and considers it a compromise at best and a weak alternative to a "real" car. Just look at the success of the Miata. One of it's prime selling points from the start was that it was a "real rwd sportscar" and not some fwd wannabe wrapped in sporty sheetmetal.

The advantage to this in terms of cost would be that the Protege line and the Miata could share a single platform (ideally a shrunken version of the RX-8 platfoirm), and the Mazda6 and RX-7 could use the current RX-8 platform.

Then the line could not only share one basic engine, but be built off of two platfoirms. The cost savings would be tremenduous.

(Yes, that doesn't count the minivan. Drop it or let Ford supply the engine and platform. I don't care about the minivan. No one does. Get over it.)

This idealized Mazda lineup would then be:

Small-car platform:
RX-3 (3-door fastback 2+2)
Protege or Mazda3 (4-door sedan)
Proitege5 (5 door sportwagon)
Miata (2-door convertible, of course)

Each of the above would offer either a "detuned" N/A Renesis with sub-200HP and better gas mileage or the full-on 250HP Renesis now offered in the RX-8 as an option, perhaps in "GT" or similar badging/trim levels. Each of them should ideally be priced under 20K at least in base trim, the less expensive the better.

Larger-car platform (current RX-8 platform):

Mazda 6 (offering the current RX-8 250 HP N/A Renesis and optionally the higher-powered engine from the RX line)
RX-7 coupe
RX-7 convertible
RX-8 coupe/(fastback?)
RX-8 convertible
The RX 7 and 8 would use a forced-induction version of the Renesis motor with presumably over 300HP and more torque.

Two platforms, one engine, models from entry-level to ultraluxury to ultrasport and everywhere in between, from 10somethingK to 30K plus in price. A bit of zoom-zoom for every taste.

No truck, no SUV, no minivan. They don't sell well for Mazda and they don't fit the image of what Mazda is trying to do. Let Ford make the trucks, SUV's, and minivans. Rebadge and retune some of them as Mazda's if you really want to. In response Ford could faze out much of it's poor-seling car lineup or re-badge Mazdas as necessary. Let Ford do piston-engine versions if they worry about the rotaries selling. But let Mazda do what it does best.

Let the competition fear the rotary revolution.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Rotary crate motors. GM and others have made a bundle on their crate motors. Don't wait for the car, sell the new RX-7 motors in a crate NOW! or at least ASAP.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Make the new RX3 its just the car Ive been looking for.
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subject:
rotory vehicals
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
i think mazda are producing some tasty looking cars at the moment, and i would love to see the rotary in their engine bay. i would like to see the new b2000 with the 240bhp renesis. i think a mini three door hatch base car with no thrills wind up windows and as cheap as can be but with 240 bhp and a price of 7000.

then bring on the bigger badder RX7
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I agree with t2rew a little 3 door hatch base car with no thrills would be cool. It doesn't even need a whole lot of power if its in the 170hp to 200hp that would still be awsome as long as the car is light weight.
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subject:
RX-3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Put the Renesis in a small RWD car for around $20k (preferably less) and I will buy it. Hatchback, coupe, sedan- I DON"T CARE! Build in some character and it WILL sell!
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subject:
RX3!!!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I think Mazda should put the Renesis in the MX Sportif concept, make it RWD, and put base price under $20k. I would buy it IN AN INSTANT. Mazda, this would be your Honda Civic and VW Jetta/Golf KILLER!
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subject:
Hell yeah
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
If Mazda could witness the popularity or "cult" following of its rotary products 30 years post release and act on it it would make me very happy.
Down here in NZ and Australia you just wouldnt believe how popular these cars are....especially the early RX's - I personally own a '75 616 with 13B power and would spend my hard earned money on more Mazda rotary product so long as its:innovative/efficient/RWD/and continues the quirkiness of the R100-RX-7 series.
I would definately like to see a return of the mighty 3-rotor too be it N/A or blown.
Big respect to Mazda - no other company has influenced my life so much.
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subject:
bring back the concept of the RX3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
wow

a new RX3

Im in. Id buy one as my everyday drive car and keep my original RX3 as my weekend car as its too precious to drive everyday what with parts being almost unobtanium and hellishly expensive when you can find them second hand.


seriously now, people in the US might not know what an RX3 is, most of the general public in NZ & Australia wouldnt know what an RX3 is but for that core group of Rotary lovers such as myself and the thousands of other car enthusiasts such as people registered on rotary and car forums eg:

http://forums.fastfours.com.au/
http://forums.performancecar.co.nz/phpBB/index.php
http://www.ausrotary.com/
http://www.badrotor.co.nz/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=3

(theres 10,000 members + just there)


this would be a major step in the right direction. There is a distinctive lack of a small size RWD coupe or sedan out there in the market. All the RWD cars are either large family cars or small covertibles such as the MX5. For this reason I would never buy a new car, FWD cars are ok for getting around in but I would never splash out and buy one new simply because I dont like them. I could have my pick of any of about 10 FWD models that would fit my criteria but why buy unless you really believe in it, and that for me and many others out there is a mid priced RWD coupe or sedan. Not FWD, not 4WD and not piston powered if at all possible.

If you want a small - mid size RWD hardtop then its a case of buying something from the 70s and 80s and converting it to something more modern with an uprated powerplant and brakes etc which more often than not ends up costing near the price of a new car.

Talking the $$:

we all know making $$ is all about supply and demand. We can demonstrate the demand, now its up to mazda to provide that supply and look to a formula thats proven and when I say its proven look at it this way.

The original formula may not have worked that well in the 70s but this is the new millenium, new ideas, new ways of doing things and gone are the days when families had only one car.

If a small light RWD rotary powered car wasnt popular then why are people spending upwards of $30-50,000 modifying their R100- RX2-RX3-RX4

Thats some serious coin to spend on a 30 year old car.

worth a thought dont u think....
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I am a 20 year old male and I think mazda should really try to put a rwd entry into the 17-22k market aimed after younger driving enthusiasts it would be great to see a light rwd 4 seat rotary powered car in that price braket especially since BMW is coming out with the 1-series relatively soon and i think this entry will revive the small rwd 4 seat car market anyways two thumbs up to the revival of the rx3
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subject:
ME Student
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
An RX3!? To kick the crap out of the forthcoming BMW 316?? Protege size, RWD, 180 hp, 19K, where do I sign?!? It would be nice to have it sitting next to my FD in a few years!
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subject:
Rx3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Rx3.......
Rotary
Light weight
Rear wheel drive
Under 20k
Can the competition even compete?
I got two words for ya!!!!!

HELL NAW :)
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subject:
Tech
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Hey, i think anything that is going to give the rotary a mainstream showing, and let itself be known to the masses, is a good thing. The rotary offers such advantages over conventional piston engines, however its downfall is that the proper R&D was never put in to make it apt for real-world usage. I'm all for bringing the Rx7 back, but let it stick to it's roots, the 1st Gen Rx7, the SA22c... where the Rx7, the real Drivers car, first sprung it's legs.

Additionally... all this fuss about putting the rotary into more than one vechicle is going to cause much more attention to detail on those vechiles is going to cause a much better automobile regardless.
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subject:
ROTORHEAD/racer
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
MAZDA! I am speaking directly to you. I am so proud of the advances you have made in the world of rotary power and efficiency. The rx-8 is an incredible vehicle. Here is the thing, I am a first generation RX-7 MANIAC (I have 5 at the moment) and while i love the series 4,5 and 6 RX-7's and have owned a TURBO II I feel that the RX series needs to return to its roots, meaning a relatively simple rotary sports car that is 1) easily tuneable 2) very durable 3)handles like no car before it 4)is affordable to the younger generation
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subject:
turbo85
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
i think all of this sounds to good to be true. i hope not!!!! i think mazda is making really great cars right now. the only problem is not enough are rotary powered.i think rotary motors are the best motors ever invented!!!
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I love all the ideas presented- new Rx3, pick-up and especially a new, more powerful Rx-7. I can only imagine the power that a new Rx-7 could put out. I believe it would be one of the greatest sports cars made. The first year or two, I can see it winning all kinds of races. Just imagine a 3rd gen with much more power and better handling!!! That car would be Godly!! Mazda Rules!!
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subject:
New Mazda Rotary Vehicles
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
if they make a 2 door entry level rotary car like the rx3..please have it as 2+2 like the first generation....I want to take my wife and small child for a cruise to a picnic site. Thanks Mazda! still driving your 1983 RX7..in fact I own 2 :)
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subject:
NEW RX-3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
A new rx-3 is the way to go for mazda.
I belive that a rwd 180hp to 200hp entry level car in coupe an sedan for $15,000 to $20,000 is mising in todays market, plus if its a rotary its going to sell.
use a rx-8 plantform an mazda3 external and a renesis tune for fuel economy and you have a winer.

Ill look good in my drive way next to my 1987t rx-7 and my 1994 touring.

ALL ROTARY BABY YEAH !!!!!!!
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subject:
rx3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Nosotros en puerto rico estamos esperando un carro con motor rotativo que este al alcance de nuuestro presupuesto,quisieramos una nueva vercion del mazda rx3 motor renesis ya que en Puerto Rico estan los campeones mundiales en la categoria rotativa esperamos una buena respuesta de la MAZDA.POR FAVOR QUE SEA ESTA NUEVA VERCION CON MOTOR ROTATIVO TURBO OK.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Jose:
Lo dudo que sea turbo, porque como dices voz, se nesesita un carro al alcanse del presupuesto de muchos, incluyendo a todos los amantes del Rotativo in Puerto Rico.

-Berny
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subject:
ROTARY 4 EVERYTHING
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
i think the jetta/ honda killer will be a great idea were all dreaming about the rx 8 but a cheaper model would certainly open up newcomers to the rotary market and i personally dont see why every mazda doesnt have rotary motors in them. and for such power to weight ratio why dont they have them in dirtbikes yet?
miata is lame tho...
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subject:
new rx's
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Certainly from a UK point of view a new small RX3 and a meaty RX7 would be probable winners. Please go for it!!!
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