Mazda are preparing a replacement for the slow-selling RX-8, ready to combat the forthcoming Toyota/Subaru FT-86 and Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe. Rather than sticking with the RX-8 name, reports coming out of Japan say that the company is keen to revive the RX-7.
The new model will use Mazda’s next-generation Renesis 16X rotary engine which was shown at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show in the Taiki concept. The 1600cc twin-rotor Wankel engine (800cc x 2) is larger than the current RX-8′s 654cc x 2 configuration and is rumoured to be capable of producing nearly 350 bhp and 215 lb-ft of torque, compared to the RX8′s more modest 227 bhp and 159 lb-ft of torque.
Earlier reports had suggested that Mazda would utilise the full potential of the new Renesis 16X engine, enclosing it within a body that took its styling cues from the Furai Concept, but we now hear Mazda are steering towards a more conventional design that evokes the original RX-7 and can be priced aggressively against its new competitors.
Choosing an output of nearer 250 bhp would enable Mazda to focus on lowering the weight of the engine itself, improving reliability and lowering fuel consumption, which would address some of the issues found with the current RX-8′s 13B rotary engine.
The RX-8 replacement was originally mooted to appear in 2012, however according to Edmunds Inside Line we may now see it as early as 2011.