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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:
new rx's...
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
...interesting comments, as usual...been a while since I checked in here...I see that many people have the same ideas...

Guys at Mazda...

Money is being saved up....this Alaska contract is going ok...will be checking out an RX-8, in September...wonder if I can fit in it...and if your dealers are going to be gouging for 40-thou plus...

Still...hoping that sometime soon...you will be releasing the 2 door, rotary powered, RWD coupe that I asked about a few months back in this column...after Christmas, perhaps?? Please??

Remember:

2 doors..
Rotary powered..
Solid build, great handling..
Room, please..for us over 6 feet tall
Unique design/details...no "anonymous world-euro-bland-look"...like you did on your Miata and last RX7...ugh...
No "yuppie/suburbanite lifestyle" crap..(cupholders, dvd, cd player, power windows, etc)

and...please(!!!)...15 grand out the door...c'mon...all those minivan/SUV/Miata things ARE making you profits....NO DEALER GOUGING, please!!!

Thank you for listening....hope you can come through on this one...and even tho I don't quite like the looks of the RX-8 (too much Miata in the tail, to "anonymous")...THANK YOU for bringing back the Rotary...you guys got some stones, at least!!

Now go out there....and be unique again!!
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
hello rn , i own a 91' rx-7 , it's such a great car and i love all things rotary. what i would like to see built is a rotary miata , the power to wieght ratio would be through the roof. if mazda would put a rotary miata on the market i would make sure i was on the reserve list! thanks rn , you are the best!
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
excuse me if i may, i just read all of the comments by these people, and i would just like to say that i am sure mazda has taken almost all of your thoughts into consideration when desgning a vehicle and you need to stop and think about what you are asking for , alot. you are basically asking for the perfect car. i know that mazda is fully capable of producing the perfect, but just think of all the possibilities that are capable, i know mazda has.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
i think the rx-3 idea is real good, but what i would really like to see is a mid- engine rotary , simialar to the toyota mr-2 or the lotus elise, the market for cars like that is kind of small but mazda could make that market bigger by producing a mid engine rotary car. just imagine a small light weight mid engine rear wheel drive rotary car, i know that pricing and developement would be expensive, but it's just an idea i have not heard yet. since producing a front wheel drive rotary MAYBE in the works , you could almost use the same drive line components, what do you think, mazda?
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I would LOVE to see a NEW RX-7 2 door coupe. That right there is what I would definitely purchase as my next sports car. I already have a 1993 RX7 R1 and adding a 4th gen RX-7 with all updated technology is definitely a dream come true.

But please.............. DO NOT MAKE IT a 2 door version of the RX-8. Make it have a LOW & WIDE STANCE, like the last RX-7. That's the selling point (Obviously the rotary engine as well)

I like the RX-8, but it doesn't have that low, wide stance. Even the Nissan 350 Z doesn't have the Low stance anymore. It's bigger and taller.

LOW & WIDE...... and if it's possible, TURBOCHARGED..... Thanks Mazda
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subject:
MR.
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Good article on potential further use of the Renesis in other Mazda applications. I thought an RX3 ( or even the new Kusabi sports coupe with a rotary) would be interesting........and as always why oh why are they not considering a rotary Miata derivitive or at least offer it as an engine option.?
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subject:
Deja vu lookin' at you RX3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
while cruising the mazda related websites the other day i came upon an item that really grabbed my attention. there are rumors circulating that Mazda may show a new RX3 at the tokyo autoshow. i believe the piece said it would be a rotary powered rear drive concept car. it is amazing how cylical life is... the gt40, the new mustang and now (maybe) the RX3. many may not have been of age to appreciate the explosive impact the RX3 created for the Mazda brand. as the country slowly crawled out of the extremely depressing 70's (emissions, re-priced oil, lousy economy and inflation) which really destroyed a great part of racing from 71 until 1980 a grassroots sanctioning body IMSA sprouted (around '76 or so) and developed into a full blown combo of factory and privateer road racing series. ( three classes GTO, GTU, and RS). Mazda laid corporate money on the table, along with other Japanese and European manufacturers and the fight was on. Mazda kicked major butt... I don't have the exact stats but the RX7 won major in GTO and GTU and the RX3 was all-conquering in the RS series. i remember attending an RS race at Daytona and there was a field of 75 cars and if you think restrictor plate racing is exciting you should have seen the bumper to bumper drafting down the back straight at Daytona. packs of 30 cars.... going 150 mph on BF Goodrich radial street tires. and what cars was invariably leading the 75 car field? the Mazda RX3. awesome racing... all over the country. Roger Mandeville, Jim Downing, Joe Varde were a few of the Mazda pilots. Roger won the RS championship in 78, 79 and 81. i think Downing won in 80. the RX3 was an awesome competitor. i bought Roger Mandeville's car in the fall of 1982 and he converted it to SCCA GT3 specs. i ran the car for 6 seasons and never placed less than 4th at the Runoffs with it. (unfortunately i never quite made the top of the podium and settled for silver in 84). while the only original piece on the car in 89, my last year of racing, was the roofskin and front windshield i was proud to keep Roger's colors (yellow) and you wouldn't believe the high fives i got around the country from people who remembered the car from IMSA. and the RX3 still is making noise... someone had a tricked out RX3 in the front row of the 02 runoffs and of course i see them cutting fast times on the dragstrips today. the RX3 is one badass car that took more scalps than any car other than the RX7. ( of course we all know that it ran a 12A rotary).
Mazda could make no better move than reprising the RX3. the street sedan market is huge and is the future of the youth/performance market. just look at the thickness and array of magazines like Sports Compact Car etc. the RX3 needs to be true to the no-compromise Mazda philosophy of engineering (RX8 has a Carbon Fiber Driveshaft!!)... rear wheel drive, Renesis powered and ideally have a double A-arm front suspension.
if Mazda makes the RX3, the future of a new RX7 will be guaranteed and Mazda will stand again at the top of the performance/youth/exciting cars for the broad- market mountain.
do it Mazda.
howard coleman
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subject:
howard coleman...good comments...hope mazda is still "listening"
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
howard,

good letter. good comments. hope they are still "listening"....

went to look at an rx8 today in washington state.

have to admit, they look better in person vs. the magazines...but, i still find the rear end and taillights too "miata-ish", kind of timid looking.

mazda....mazda....mazda.....why do you tease us (me) like this??? i can't sit in the damn thing!!!!!!!!!!!!

i know i can't be the only 6 foot plus guy out there who wants a rotary powered car!!! overall, this afternoon, after i literally "wedged" myself in the car, i really wanted to smile....but there is no bloody headroom, and the wheel adjustment is not enough for those of us with looong legs!!!!

sigh...i cannot imaging paying over 35 grand (yes, they ARE price gouging this car) for the car, only to have to make a trip to a local metal fabrication shop, to modify the floorpans (drop the seat base).
even sitting in one that did NOT have the sunroof made little difference.

mazda....please.....if you DO make a "resurrected" rx3....headroom/legroom, PLEASE....pretty please??
for aerodynamics......tilt the windshield or backlight a bit....but please give us some headroom/legroom....i am certain i am NOT the only person of my height (6' 4.5') who is happy to see you bring back the rotary...yes, i like "sleek" cars, but i can never fit in any of them....the 350z...your rx8...please do not make me buy a subaru wrx...fast car...but 2 too many doors!!

go back to your company archives......study the styling of the r100 thru the rx5....especially the rx2 and 3......and draw some inspiration....you guys can do it, i know you can!!! you somehow got "mother ford's" permission to play with rotaries again.....make a car for an "average american" guy who wants to own one.....6 foot plus....

ps....i HATE suv's....minivans....and "boring vanilla" sedans....a 2-door coupe....do not care if it is a sedan or hardtop.....

if you won't do this....will you be offering the renesis as a crate motor??? if so, hopefully it will be affordable.

thanks again for listening...

sincerely,

a "very frustrated" rotary fan

B. O'Hare
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subject:
Web Master
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I have a REPU that I plan to spend around 20K to restore. If mazda offered a 3/4 - 1 ton "mini" truck with the RENESIS supercharged (with 18" rims) I would preorder one today (priced @ ~ 25-35K).
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subject:
Rx3 is a sure fire winner
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
The Rx3 idea is perfect for mazda.
There are just a few things that need to be set straight. There is no oil chrisis now, that is what killed off the roraries in the 70's. This type of mistake won't happen again.
Some head honcho guy at mazda said that they were going to phase out all their piston engines and replace them with rotary engines, then he later said that he regretted it. He only regretted it due to the oil chrisis. If that hadn't happend I can assure you that alot of the cars you see on the roads now would not be piston driven ;)

This is the begining of a new automotive industry boom. People are interested in cars a lot more now than previous decades. Kids want to mod cars, a rather large and influential market. But all they can afford are econoboxes.
There is an obvious niche` section of the market that no one has cashed in on. A small lightweight performance hatch/coupe.

And the rx3 is perfect for this application. The car would have to be light wieght ala the original rx3 (sub 1000kg's definatley). The light weight of the original rx cars is what started their success. It's the type of car that the rotary engine is suited for, the lack of torque can't really be noticed.

REAR WHEEL DRIVE!!!! I can not stress this enough. There are NO rwd small cars out at the moment that the average person can afford.
Rwd cars offer better control over their fwd and 4wd counter parts in road conditions. And rwd is performance orientated. Performance is what the market craves, and will do for years to come.

The rx3 is a low risk car that could easily be made by mazda within a time period of 2 and a half years. The rx name is synonymous with performance. Using the rx3 name would only serve to better the public image of the car.

I beleive that a lower spec renesis engine should be used for the base model rx3. This is the 4 port auto engine which pumps out just under 200hp, more than enuff for such a light car. Then there should be the option of the 6 port renesis in the rx3 sp. These engines already exist so that area of devolpment is done and over with, just a slight amount of fine tuning to suit the 4 port for fuel efficiency is all that is needed. Because most people think that rotarys suck a lot of petrol, this image needs to be shrugged off. It doesn't matter if there is a loss of performance, even if the renesis was detuned to pump out 160hp, that is more than enough for such a light car, its power to weight that people want but dont know about.

Bring back the original badgings for the rx3, savanna, sp etc. Not only do they hold nostalgic value for some but they also sound pretty damn mad to others :D

Retro styling cues should be taken not off from the original rx3. Mazda has a new image right now (mazda 6, 3, 2 and rx8). They all have similar styling cues. It isn't really taht difficult to update the old retro styling to suit this new one, the old 808 and rx3 grill looks almost identicle to the rx8 grill.
The lights of teh old rx3 had a tripple circle style on teh back or hexagon given it was a savanna, and twin circle style on the front. Updating these to look modern yet keep the key principles of the old versions is a simple task too.

The overall shape of the rx3 is a classic and shouldn't be messed with too much. The large sloping rear window just looks incredible and would fit right in with the new mazda styling cues. Flaired guards ala rx8 are also a trade mark from the rx3.

Suicide / freestyle doors are a great attribute to sport style cars and they shouldn't just be used on the rx8. A similar system should be implemented into the new rx3. It provides easy accessabilty and functionality to the car, whcih would draw a larger audience to it.

As mazdas slogan zoom zoom hints at, there is a little bit of sports car in all their cars. This is handling that is evident across the mazda range. A double wishbone system as well as a responsive wheel is what the new rx3 must have. Combined with the light weight, this car would be able to corner like nothing else out there... thanks to rwd!

It makes perfect sense to create this car because the demand for it has not yet been realised by other companies. There are no other cars like it!
RWD, light, small, 2+2, sporty, quasi retro + mazda styling cues, rotary engine, the "Rx" tag. All these qualities will create a car that many people want and can afford, due to the small size.

Just as was with the mx5, keep the car simple. Its a good way to keep teh weight down. If people want all that other plastic crap and power windows, make it optional. At least this way the base model $25,000 aus would be accessable by many, and is priced above the mazda 3 so it dosn't steal its glory.

The renesis is the start of the rotary revolution. The opec oil chrisis halted it before but this time there is no holding back. The rotary engine is superiour when applied properly and mazda has yet to realise what an incredible asset that they have. It was this engine after all that got them wher they are today.
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subject:
I love you guys!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I have owned a 1983 first generation automatic rx-7 and after it was stolen I upgraded to a 1988 second generation rx-7 and I love my second gen. I have never felt so completely infactuated with a car before I learned of the new rx-8. If I were to win the lottery or win any type of money I would without thinking drive up to the nearest mazda dealer and tell them to give me the six speed in black! I've heard rumors about mazda making a turbo model in the future and if that's so I hope I have the money by then to buy one because I am going to get this car!
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subject:
RX-3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
saludos atodos:quisiera que si asen una nueva vercion del famoso RX-3 por favor que se paresca bastante al original no como el que estan ilustrando gracias.
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subject:
RX3
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Excelent idea, a RWD RX3, that is the way to go. The RWD format in itself will get a hold of the young enthusiast knowledable crowd looking for a RWD vehicle, and, ading the rotary engine to this RX3(no other way to call it a RX), it will sweep clean all the young people away from FWD "micky mouse Hondas and others. Also, this would become the entry level for new rotary enthusiasts, which would later move on into more sporty and expensive rotary cars like the RX7 and RX8. This would create a base, base which is missing by years of neglect by Mazda,we got to expose the excelent rotary powerplant to these new comers into the market, young people who are enthusiasts and have power of adquisition, they are a market force, I can see big things coming if Mazda really brings in a RX3, believe me, it will be a 500% hit.The most important thing is that the RX3 has, MUST be a RWD car.
I would add the need(probably after the intro of the RX7)...to bring to the US the famous 20B 3 rotor engine, an engine that would kick the competition blind and away, and also give rotary enthusiasts another step to move up to, the mighty powerfull 20B 3 rotor, count on me, I would be one of the first ones in line to get a 20B 3 rotor Mazda.
Mazda people, please, make it happen, today you are the only rotary engine manufacturer, you got the market at your feet, and, specially after the success that the alternative fuel Rotary engine just presented to the world, others will try to jump into the rotary world, and, believe me, the day will come when Mazda wil miss the days of glory when Mazda was the one and only rotary engine king. Please, do it no, or shut up for ever.
Jaime Aguirre.__________________l
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subject:
rx3....
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Excellent comments, Jaime. Perhaps the "3" in Rx3 could stand for triple rotor???? We can only hope.

Hmm...a 2500/2800lb RWD coupe...add 20B...shake well...can you say "zoom zoom"????

I would be happy with the Renesis, perhaps supercharged, in a solid, simple, RWD coupe. You are right, Jaime...a "base" type car. Most guys who want "bling" and huge stereos can get it aftermarket....and cupholders, etc are for soccer mom minivans.

Just simple, straightforward, no nonsense...with a bit of "old school" Mazda detailing...no "robot boy" stuff. Mazda....believe me, you have customers waiting...we DO remember the "old days"...listen to US...not the "cupholder/lifestyle" gurus...you sell plenty of 323/626/MPV stuff...and the Miata...well...it is not an RX anything...and the RX 8...sigh...just no headroom!!!

Just my 2 cents..again...
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subject:
"RX-3 reply"
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I didnít realize there were two areas with comments on the RX-3. I wrote a comment to the ďjust before the Tokyo Autoshow... article. Anyway, I could not agree with you more. All the Big Car companies have either at least one [some even three] 2-door coupes in the product line. Mazda has Zero. To emphasize the point some of us are trying to make: We believe the RX-3 should appeal to the Young Masses. It should appeal to the Playstation, Car Enthusiast. They are the trendsetters, and thatís where the opportunity is to gain brand loyalty.

You want to revive the Rotary engine? Go to Street Dreams, Hot Import Nights, NHRA Street Glow Extreme, and see what drives enthusiasm there. Iíll tell you know, you wont find the answers at Fordís headquarters! Build the RX-3, something to compete with the RSX, Celica, and Iíll be in line with thousands of others waiting for our own to buy! Remember keep it under $19,000!
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subject:
yep...sort of
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
n22lasing...

Not bad comments. especially the coupe comment...yep, honda, acura, toyota, mitsubishi...
all have 2 door coupes, unfortunately, they are wrong wheel drive!!!

Mazda is touting "zoom zoom"......hopefully with RWD, soon.....c'mon guys....you've made some classic rotary coupes in the past...here it is 2004, and us rotorheads still remember what Cosmo,R100/RX2/3/4/5/7 were and are....

DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh....hmm....19 grand....how about that being the maximum price, with no gouging and maybe even a complimentary tank of gas????

C'mon, "Father" (Mother??) Ford.....let your "affordably interesting" division do something, will ya???? If you can practically resurrect a 66/69 Mustang....after all, all the money eventually goes down the corporate drain....straight thru the Mazda filter into your corporate coffers....I really do not care how many of your divisions you have making SUV's.....(who's next..Jaguar and Aston Martin?!?!?) Good grief you even resurrected the GT-40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many will you possibly sell at 125K plus?!?!

Sigh. It is like beating against a brick wall. We seem to be condemned to SUV land....or 4-door land...FWD land....short term profit mentality rules the automotive industry...outside of pickup trucks, that is...

Guess I'll just have to wait till some unfortunate soul wrecks his/her RX8.....and strip the Renesis and the computer, etc....and try to locate a old RX shell...

Sorry for the ramblings, again, guys....just frustrated....if you cannot buy it, guess ya gotta build it yourself....cos they ain't listening, it seems.

Happy Rotoring......
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subject:
A NEW 7!!!!!!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
First of: Pistons suck!!...hail to the rotary!
Everyone wants a new rx3 coupe....so whats the smart thing to do??....MAKE ONE! rwd, renesis powered, n/a (keep the turbo for the mazdaspeed 8 and new7!!)
They say the 7 never dies...don't let it!!!!!
mazda wizards! you guys are eating nissan's and toyota's dust in the performance sportcar field....with the bnr34's rb26 dett and the supra's 2jzgtte...they areeating our precious fd's on the track!! we need you to layeth the smack down on them with a new 7!!

**renesis20b powered!! (has to have at least 3 rotors!)
**with the amazing weight distribution of the fd and rx8 for god-awesome handling!
**a 6 speed tranny with a carbon driveshaft like the 8!
**a wide low stance like the fd3s! (the 8 is decent looking but the 3rd gen 77 has a much more agressive aerodynamic stance and appearance)
**a high rev like the 8 or higher (10K!!!) if possible
**PLEASE nothing less than 300hp and 280ft/lbs torque!!
**n/a is not out of the question but it won't be atrue 4thgen 7 unless it's TURBOCHARGED! ....twin turbo!

you rotary gurus have millions of fans and tuners at your feet waiting for a 7 ...... priced anywhere from 34-44K and you'll have to beat people of with a stick!
*one question though what about a mid-engine quad rotor turbocharged ENZO eating machine??*
answer the masses!!!
from all your loyal die-hard rotary fans in Trinidad!!
if not the new 4th gen 7...at least the rx3 2+2 coupe and the mazda speed TURBO rx8!!
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subject:
no rx3 yet?
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Hello Mazda...

Ok..Mazda3, Mazda6, sport wagons, souped up Miatas...RX8....you guys are coming out with new products, and obviously making money. Good.

Hmm....ok. How about asking Father Ford to borrow some cash and/or platform tech...

Please make something other than FWD!!!!!!!!!
You got the engine (Renesis)...you can make those FWD shopping trolleys (minivans/4 doors) all day long, and the chick "sports car" (Miata).

Easy recipie for customer satisfaction:

2 DOORS..... Simple, strong, well built, favouring handling over ride comfort. Offer good factory parts/tech support. Give it an aggressive, unique design (no "boy racer" or "bling wing" crap).

If Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi can sell coupes successfully,and be popular with the aftermarket, so can you.

14 grand tops out the door, perhaps?? So us average working guys can afford some fun with a Rotary? Not all of us have 30K+ to burn...(like the proposed Cosmo 21 show car...sigh)

Thanks for listening...hope you come out with something....or at least offer Renesis in an affordable crate package.
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