July 26, 2014

2013 Mazda RX-9 to be rotary hybrid

Mazda Shinari Concept will influence 2013 Mazda RX-9

Mazda Shinari: The 2013 Mazda RX-9 will be a coupe version of the Shinari Concept

It’s reported that Mazda are working on the 2013 Mazda RX-9, which will have the new Renesis Rotary Engine, Toyota hybrid drive and be built on next MX-5 platform.


You know the deal by now. A motoring publication somewhere had a quiet news day and writes a speculative story. That speculation becomes a rumour and that rumour becomes ‘fact’. And it gives us something interesting to report if we can find any meat in the suppositions..

Of course, we do try to work out when someone’s simply guessing and when there’s a bit of inside knowledge. But in the case of the ‘rumour’ that the 2013 Mazda RX-9 is going to couple the new  rotary lump to a bit of Toyota hybrid gubbins, we’re prepared to take it at face value. Why? Because it makes so much sense.

It makes sense because a bit of hybrid power could answer the questions that a rotary engine still has to answer. Questions we suspect even the new Renesis Rotary Engine – Mazda’s next generation rotary wonder lump – will not be able to answer completely.

The questions Mazda’s new Renesis lump needs to address are the lack of torque low down, not very good fuel consumption (particularly now high performance turbo diesels have become so economical) and a propensity to eat rotors and leak oil.

The last two we would hope Mazda has cured all on its own, but the other two are an inherent issue with rotary engines. But the agreement between Toyota and Mazda last year for Mazda to access Toyotas Hybrid Technology could be the clue to the success of a new RX-9.

A new RX-9 that will be a conventional coupe – no suicide doors – and be built on the next generation MX-5 platform but with an electric motor providing low-down torque and boosting economy, could make the RX-9 a perfect 21st century coupe.

The fly in the ointment for us would be the CVT ‘box Toyota employs in all its hybrids, a ‘box that allows no driver input or control. But we guess if Mazda can couple Toyota’s hybrid gubbins to their own Renesis lump and drop it in a new RX-9, they can overcome the small issue of making it all work with a proper ‘box.

But count our interest as decidedly piqued.

 

Source: Inside Line
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  1. This is good news. Mazda deserve to succeed with the rotary option after all their efforts. Adding a hybrid drive should fix the remaining issues and see the RX-9 really compete, and with something that’s a bit different.

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