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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:
Alternate Rotary Vehicles
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
First off, i think the idea of an inexpensive rotary sedan sounds great! Bring on the RX-3, and name it that. Make it rear wheel drive. And price it under $20K. I think it would be just awesome, and would be on my list of "must check out" cars.

I personally love the idea of a REPU, but it needs to be youth oriented, and needs to be a sporty mini-truck, not a real heavy duty pickup. I see fools driving Chevy "X-Treme" trucks *ALL OVER* ohio, and they are just S-10's with wide tires and bad mufflers. Imagine offereing those same people a mini-truck that is actually a little extreeme in it's handling?

Finally, there needs to be a Mazda luxury sedan with a 3 rotor in it. I'm damn serious on this. There are so many luxury sedans out there with sporting pretentions, a 3-rotor would be great. I know it's a little difficult to work around the side exhaust ports to build more than 2 rotors, but imagine a nice 3-series fighter w/ a N/A 3'rotor... plenty of torque, lots of high rev-power, and a sillky smoothe engine that is just as happy at 8K rpm as as 3K. The only problem with this idea is the high level of competition in this market segment, but it's an opportunity for Mazda to really steal some people from the other marques such as Lexus and BMW.
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subject:
yeah that is awesome!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I really hope that happens. Let the world know that the rotary never left mazdas agenda and bring the little powerhouse into the world market
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subject:
manufacturing engineer
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I would like to see an all wheel drive RX-3 or better yet RX-4 with the larger renesis motor and turboed, of course. With 300+ HP and traction it would blow the doors off the WRX and Evo!
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subject:
New rotary cars? I WISH!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
RX8 yes! RX7, I do like the idea, but will probably be too expensive for me right now...but an RX-3...oh man...

I have always been a fan of the "old" rotary cars, if Mazda made the car really light(2500-2700lbs), short and RWD the car would be a HUGE hit with the auto-x groups, nevermind road racing.

Michael
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subject:
repu
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Nevertheless, consider the success of the Ford Lightning. If Mazda could reach that with a cheap truck there would be a lot of money to be made. However, there may be problems with overcoming many American's ideal that if it aint a V8, it aint no good.
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subject:
You don't know!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Well, I whole hartedly disagree about your comment about a the REPU. My REPU kicks butt, I would never trade it.

Ask someone that actually owns a repu before making any coments about if you like it or not..

A light weight, well handling small pickup, with the renesis would
a. be different
b. be faster than the competition
c. be what a mazda is supposed to be through and through
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subject:
Yes!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
As I commented below, I'd love to see a new REPU.

After 1977, or whenever the REPU was last made, there was a huge hole in the market segment left open.. a performance mini-truck.

REPU: Yes
RX-3: Yes
RX-7: out of my league, and price range.
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subject:
Low entry level
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Wouldn't a single-rotor engine based on the Renesis be a nice alternative for a real entry-level car. Maybe in the sub 10k€.

How could such an engine be rated at?
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
All sound good. What about a rotary Miata?
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subject:
Agree too
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Well, I think you hit the nail on the head about the REPU. There is a void that could be filled. I just hope Ford won't come in and say "trucks R us" and kills off Mazda's Mini Power truck.


I too have a REPU, with a Turbocharged, FI 13b., and once again agree that you have to drive one to know what a true sports truck is all about. These little trucks were ripping up SCCA courses in the 70's long with the RX-3s. So keep that in mind.
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subject:
New Rotary Vehicles
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes - a new RX-3, RX-7, Mini-pickup, and MazdaSpeed RX-8!
Let's face it - there's 10s of millions of cars and trucks produced every year - and most are boring and copycats of each new, generally minor, idea.
No other manufacturer, however can copycat a rotary. The compact, high reving, smooth, powerful, and now emissions / fuel economy friendly rotary has no equal.
Whatever the application, nothing could touch Mazda with the rotary engine:
- $16-20k RX-3 (lightweight, low hood, REAR-Wheel drive),
- $40-50k RX-7 (325hp, >1.1G,
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subject:
Bright Idea
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I think is a good idea.Mazda has to prove
the power of the rotary engine in all categories."Thanks Mazda from Puerto
Rico".
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subject:
"You don't know"
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
REPUFan YOU'RE Right!

I love my REPU and it's fun and drives great. Now ain't that what it's all about?
If Mazda REturned ( pun intended) with a new truck I would lay my money down on a new one in a heartbeat....sorry chevy

Tim
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subject:
RX2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I love RX cars, rotary power, and with variety , everyone could afford one. Again an RX2, small, swift, it could be the smallest, "mid engine" rotary car(fast, counter to toyotas ' mid engine) RX3, 13B powered small sporty car, answer to Hondas, RX4, familly sedan, perhaps station wagon, RX7, the ultra Renesis sports car, the RX8, we all know it, sport + 4 seats, and the ultimate, RX9, 20B 3 rotor rocket, no nonsense, panic feeling for the competitors(the only risk would be that the panic wave among the piston crowd might get us a life ban from races, denial among those wanabies...)
Just one thing, please!...do not disgrace the rotary engine with a front wheel drive configuration, that would be the biggest mistake that could kill the rotary, as it did the gas prices back in the seventies.
Jaime
____________________________________-
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
How about taking the RX3 concept described in the article and offering it in an AWD configuration, ala the Subaru WRX and the upcoming Lancer Evo VIII.

It just seems like an AWD rotary powered car would be something unique, exciting, and practical. Furthermore, I'm guessing that the unique packaging dimensions of the rotary would give the Mazda designers room to implement an AWD drivetrain that's more capable than the competition. Finally, if Mazda ever decided to go crazy with the car and offer forced induction, the Renesis would probably have more potential than the other AWD compacts.

Just an idea...
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subject:
number crunching
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
From what i have read FORD who owns part of mazda wants at least 30,000 sales of the rx8 in the USA before it considers building other rotary models . SO go out and buy the rx8 .Give the german ,and french AUTOMAKERS A MISS AND THEIR BRANDS and then you will not only be seen as PATRIOTIC but you will get the beloved rotary into other vehicle variants ( rx2 rx3 rx4 rx5 ) etc asFOR ME I HAVE ORDERED THE rx8 HERE IN australia WHERE THE TOP OF THE RANGE MANUAL IS PRICED AT $ 66,000 BIGONES ON ROAD , EVEN THOUGH I am thinking of possibly waiting for more details on the MAZDA SPEED RX8 AS I BELIEVE THATS WERE THE REAL PARTY IS GOING TO BE HAPPENING Aniway long live the rotary renolution ......
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subject:
Ford and Mazda
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I am concerned with this relashionship between Mazda, and Ford. I love Mazdas, but why did Mazda accepted becoming part of Ford?, nothing anti US, this is about automobiles and love for rotary engines, and Ford is only a hindrance to the development and technology of the rotary engine. I would like to see Mazda, or at least the rotary division, separate from Ford, Ford, with all due respect, has inferior technology to Mazda, and the benefit is for Ford, in detriment of Mazda. I was amazed when I found out the Mazda Six has a Ford engine, but I am not surprised, I saw it coming, when I started seing Ford pick up trucks with the Mazda name on the dealers, like I said, might be good for the Ford name, but for Mazda? no way, it was, respect me for my opinion, I do not want to ofend nobody, this is car talk extrictly, but to me I felt insulted by a Ford truck with the Mazda batch,Mazda deserves better, like getting a Hyundai car and sticking on a Toyota name, I do not think Toyota fans would feel very enthusiastic about that. Ford does not like rotaries, so if we like rotaries, we got to start thinking about something.
Jaime
_________________________________
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
RX-3: entry level price (15,000~24,000) .yes! I drive over 25,000 miles a year. An entry level rotary car suitable for commute is better for me.

RX-7: I suggest engine size to be increase to 1.6 L. That way, the engine can be used by other platform such as REPU, or SUV.

In term of marketing, I think Mazda should use the equivalent piston engine displacement. When I mentioned my RX-7 has a 1.3 L engine to my uneducated friends, first thing that came to their minds was fuel efficicency. Beside, with a small displacemtn engine, people expect cheaper price. That was one of the reasons the Miller cycle engine equipped Millenium didn't sell well. Had it been presented as a 3 L super-chaged engine, the price would have been more acceptable.
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subject:
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Hopefully the RX-8 will be a successful veichle, thus giving Mazda more freedom with fitting more cars with the rotary platform.

I think that a nice way to start (Besides a new RX-7, and the possible rotary miata) would be to give the rotary option in many of their current cars. It would be nice to see a low cost car such as the protege with a rotary engine, and even a Mazda 6 (3-rotor possibly). I would imagine that it wouldn't be too difficult to mount the rotary to a front wheel drive tranny.

I stated the above because I felt that it would be a low cost option for Mazda to distribute their rotary powerplant to a greater variety of cars. Of course, this doesn't prevent the possibility of a new RX-2, or RX-3, in fact, it might make it more reasonable.

I think the RX-7 could handle the sports car portion of Mazda's line, with both a 2, and 3-rotor option.

As a few people stated above, an AWD rotary car would be AWESOME!!!!! There's a good market for these types of cars, as proven by Subaru (Mitsubishi didn't even care about releasing the EVO, until they seen Subaru's success!).

Personally, no matter how much I love the RX-7, I think I would rather buy a Mazdaspeed RX-8 (It's nice to have 4 seats), or an AWD rotary car (assuming it's a 4-seater). Of course, there are those that feel they only need one other passenger.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I disagree with the rotary pickup though... the rest are great :)

A pickup needs torque to pull loads (at least that's why I'd buy one), and thus the RENESIS makes a bad motor with which to do so.
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subject:
Software installer & configurer
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I wish the Rotary Revolution to continue in full swing. Hoping the Rx8 and possible Rx7 would be a success and lead the Rotary Revitalization. It's a great little motor putting out good smooth power for it's size and weight.

Mazda has in the past used the rotary engine across their entire product line and with rising gas prices (remember waiting in line 2hrs for gas?) and increased emissions requirements, it was a failure. I have read that Mazda will never do this again. And will look extremely carefully at using the rotary in 2 of it's vehicles, let alone 4. Did you know the Mazda GLC was made to save the company, and it did?

Bring back the Rx3? Lightweight and good power? It could be a success but I wouldn't reccomend putting a lower output Renesis engine in it because:
1. It would require more parts and tooling to make said motor or peripherals. And correspondingly more $$$ which Mazda is short on these days.
2. The 13b Renesis is a great motor out of the box, 247 fwhp in a light econobox would rock!

Please don't make a 'new Rx3' look spaceage like the 8. How about a retro look, revivine the slanted back window and bold features of the original Rx3?
Or even make it a 2 seater. Remember how popular the Honda CRX Si was back-in-the-day? Those cars DOMINATE SCCA ITA road racing......

The new Rx7 will need more power and reliability out of the box than the FD period. And be a great handeling car to boot! We need something that will eat up the Toyota Supra turbo. Base it on the 8 platform to save $$$ ?

Rotary Engine PickUp? It was a failure. They sat on the lots for a long time. I own a 74 REPU myself (and love it!) but it was built in 74 and sat on the lot until 75 when bought. Mazda would take a great leap of faith to do this again. Remember, the Renesis doesn't make much torque and has a narrow powerband and would not be great at towing. But it could scoot around town quite well. I think if they took a B2300, offered few options to keep it light, and put flares and wide tires on it, lowered it an inch and had rotary embelems and stickers on it and a 4.62 limited slip ; it might sell to the 'go fast minitruck niche' small as it is. But then again, the Rotary Engine has always been in a niche market and we rotorheads love it!

Best of Luck Mazda!

Brad Page
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
It would take almost no retooling to make a lower output Renasis. Restrictive intake and exhaust, followed by a computer that was tuned heavily for fuel efficiecy would bring it right down there.

Why would we want to do that? Simple: Insurence. Insurence wouldn't see this as a high-performance car like the RX7 and probably RX8. It would be nice, but really the government wouldn't see the car as safer/more reliable, as would parents, if the car had 250hp.
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subject:
MORE IS BETTER
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
The rotary is absolutley a superior motor in every aspect to piston engines, but will never make a huge impact on the masses by only being exposed in 1 vehicle with very limited production.


One answer, make more!!!! Look at the mazdaspeed protege, put a 180hp rotary in it, and not only will it be faster, but also more relaible.

The rotary is a great motor, and while it shines in sports cars, it should not be restricted to them. Just look at every mazda model. They are designed with performance in mind, so you could place a rotary with that cars *targeted performance* in each one. I say make a rotary an option in many cars. I understand the complications with fwd, but what about making a rotary powered rwd mazda millenia??? (bmw killer??) Let noone be exempt from domination by rotaries. And if you need more power...... 3 rotor anyone???? :) forced induction? Possabilities are endless.

PS I will sell every car I own to purchase a new rx7, pppppppppppplllllleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaasssseeeee make one in the U.S. plllease!!
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I think that each car the mentions should be very thoroughly considered by Mazda, they are all incredible.
RX-3 - Wonderful idea. Give the WRX(STi)/SRT-4/Evo VIII a run for their money. Make sure Mazda keeps its trademark good handling, as this is one of the key advantages that a rotary gives. I like the idea of "easy to tune", that should definitely make the RX-3 popular with the aftermarket crowd (especially if the car is cheap). An AWD option would be great too.
REPU – Though I think could be a great success in Japan, I question its feasibility with America. A lot of Americans who buy pickups want V8 “power” (and torque), so even if the REPU was better than a Ford Lightning for performance, it may have trouble selling. If Mazda does sell it in the US, they make it cheap and with exceptional handling for a pickup.
RX-7 - YES! Definitely make another RX-7. Follow in the footsteps of the FD3S in terms of performance, this must be an all out sportscar. I do not think the RX-7 should become as cheap as it once was (1st and 2nd generation), instead it should have incredible performance (like the FD3S). As in Corvette (Z06)/NSX/Skyline beating performance – for the price of the FD3S. Though this would be a difficult goal to meet (but hey, the 3rd generation already beat the NSX in many tests), Mazda could earn an incredible performance name by achieving it. I would not advise selling the RX-7 until after the RX-8, RX-3, and REPU are produced, because by then rotary repair shops should be fairly common and the RX-8/RX-3/REPU will have reestablished the rotary name in the public mind. Also, I think Mazda should offer a 3 rotor option on the RX-7 for those who prefer horsepower to handling, but retain the two rotor for the rest of us. If the RX-7 is ever going to be as popular as a Corvette, it needs to have more horsepower. Granted, Mazda would have to find a way around the 280 hp rule, but then again look at the 350z (289 hp), the 300zx (300 hp), and the Supra (300 hp). Mazda could always do what Nissan did with the Skyline and put easily removable restrictors on.
If Mazda can get the Renesis to hit 12000 rpm as the article a few weeks back mentioned (or even above 10 grand) I think there would be a big boost in sales. As it is, 9000 rpm is incredible in its own right, but it isn’t far enough ahead of the competition (S2000 is only 100 behind at 8900). People would buy a car that could surpass 10000 rpm on that fact alone. In addition, people would be intrigued by such a high number and would be more likely to seek more information on rotary engines (how could a street car engine hit such a high rpm?) than if they saw the number 9000.
I would advise against rotary powered Miatas. While I do think it would be awesome, the price jump would be huge ($2000 more to produce a rotary than the straight 4 it’s got right now). The Miata is Mazda’s only brand icon right now, and it arguably saved Mazda from disappearing. Don’t mess with success. The only feasible way of having a rotary powered Miata would be if the Wankel were offered as an option.
At 16, I am considering what might be my first car. Please Mazda, give me something to be proud of. I don’t want a car with a piston engine. While I understand that what I have suggested may not be feasible (and probably isn’t), the Wankel is far superior to the rest of the engines out there. If marketed correctly, it could result in an industry revolution. Unlike the 1970s, there is no oil crisis right now, and it looks like you’ve got fuel efficiency, reliability, and emissions under control. The youth market is here for the taking, you just have to take the chance.
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subject:
No title supplied
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Forced induction on the RENESIS would easily push it above the 350HP mark.. From the looks of it, Mazda is keeping it out of the RX-8 for the sake of keeping the price down. From what I noticed anyways, most people who tune their turbo (or supercharged) car usually end up putting an after market forced induction system anyways. So hey, while Mazda keeps their prices down, we can invest that extra cash, and install our own systems. As mentioned in an RX-8 preview on this site, a Mazda engineer said the engine was built to take boost :). As for a higher rev limit, this is just an ECU restriction I assume, and we'll be seeing after market chips removing the restraint.

It's a tough call, but I think Mazda will have success on their hands with the RX-8, especially considering the base price.
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