Putting an end to the vicious cycle of rumors and conjecture, Mazda’s sports car chief revealed that they will bring back the RX-7 in 2017, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Cosmo sports car.
Nobohiru Yamamoto, who is now head of the MX-5 program, told Australia’s The Motor Report that the RX-7 will use a stretched version of the Miata platform, and weigh roughly as much as the 2775 lb Toyota 86. Japanese market versions will have a small rear seat, while North American versions will be two-seaters.
Power will come from the new 16X rotary engine, a naturally aspirated unit capable of nearly 300 horsepower. Yamamoto said that a large single turbo caused too much lag, and a sequential twin-turbo setup like the previous RX-7 was “not ideal”. But Yamamoto didn’t rule out a turbo either for future production. But even in naturally aspirated form, the power to weight ratio should exceed the last RX-7 sold in North America.
Also absent from the RX-7 will be any kind of KERS or hybrid system. Mazda currently doesn’t have any sort of technology in that space, and according to Yamamoto “”…a pure sports ca…must be internal combustion.” Lightweight aluminum body panels and special catalysts will help the car meet tough emissions and fuel economy standards.
Unfortunately, all that will come at a price. The RX-7 will apparently be more expensive than something like a Nissan 370Z or a Toyota 86. All that engineering comes at a price, and the RX-7 will be positioned to reflect that.