Rotary-engined Mazda RX-Vision concept unveiled

Mazda has taken the wraps off its highly anticipated, rotary-engined RX-Vision sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Gorgeous, innit? Like, properly.

And we might actually see something not too far removed from it reach production, possibly even carrying the legendary RX-7 badge. 800,000 RX7s were sold from 1978 to 2002 and it now has a devoted following, as do rotary engines generally.

Mazda is well aware of that, saying the concept is “a ‘vision’ of the future that countless fans of the brand around the world hope will become a reality.”

Though it stopped mass-producing them in 2012, Mazda continued its R&D on rotary engines, leading to the new SKYACTIV-R unit that lives under the RX-Vision’s long, long bonnet.

Mazda hasn’t released any tech specs yet, but has conceded that a production version of the RX-Vision would be targeted at the Porsche Cayman. So we can expect power output to be somewhere between 250bhp and 300bhp. And a soundtrack like tearing metal.

The new engine comes wrapped in a body that is simply stunning. The RX-Vision is every inch a classic sports car, most of its compact 4,389mm length taken up by bonnet, with the two-seater cabin pushed right to the back.

20in wheels and zero wheelarch gap give a radically road-hugging stance. Indeed, the front wheels push the ‘arches above the bonnet line – the engine must be mounted well behind the front axle.

The minimalist detailing and voluptuous surfacing are highly effective, making the concept seems both classic and ultra-modern. Likewise, the cabin contains only the bare essentials; three dials, a deep-dish three-spoke steering wheel, a stubby little gearstick and leather straps for door pulls. It looks technical and modern, but has a serious retro vibe.

We’re not sure how practical the RX-Vision would be for production – the headlights in particular – but we reckon the RX-Vision is only three steps removed from reality.

It’s too early to know when we might see a production version of the Mazda RX-Vision reach showrooms. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Mazda’s first rotary-engine car, the 110S Cosmo, but that gives a very short lead time. But it should appear by the end of the decade.

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By Only Motors

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