The Mazda RX-8 disappeared from the scene a couple of years ago, but rumours of a comeback are gaining steam after insiders told Australia's Motoring that the Japanese automaker plans to launch a new RX sports car based on the Mazda6's SKYACTIV platform.
Obviously, modifications would be made to the architecture to ensure it can work with a rotary engine and rear-wheel drive.
This new model, currently identified as Mazda RX-9, could be unveiled in concept form two years from now when Mazda celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first sports coupe with a rotary engine. A production version could then be launched for 2020 – exactly 100 years after the creation of Mazda.
Will the RX-9 actually become the brand's 8th model? Rotary-engine fans, who mourned the loss of the RX-8 in 2012, and the famed RX-7 before that, sure hope so.
"After all, after the MX-5, the rotary is the spirit of the company," one Mazda insider said. "They’d all love to work on the next one".
The early reports contain no specifications or details about the engine, but since Mazda and Toyota are sharing various technologies, is it reasonable to envision a plug-in hybrid or even a fuel-cell system?
As for styling, if the concept looks similar to what you see here, we'll have to applaud Mazda designers once again.