Mazda RX-Vision Concept: the return of the rotary engine

Concept Cars 28 Oct 2015
Mazda RX-Vision Concept: the return of the rotary engine

At the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show Mazda has unveiled the RX-Vision Concept, a study of a coupe powered by a front-mounted rotary engine.


With the RX-Vision, Mazda hints at a possible comeback of the rotary engine, which was used by the carmaker on production models from 1967 until 2012, when the RX-8 went out of production.

Mazda RX-Vision ConceptFrom an aesthetic perspective, the RX-Vision adopts and the classical proportions of front-engined coupes, with a long hood, and a set-back two-seat cabin, and uses clean, curved surfaces that give it an elegant, almost retro-inspired look.

Mazda RX-Vision Concept

The concept is 4.389 millimeters long, 1.925 mm wide and 1.160 mm tall, with a long wheelbase of 2.700 mm. The low, sporty stance is underlined by the muscular rear shoulder and the large 20-inch wheels, fitted with 245/40 tires at the front and 285/35 tires at the rear.

Mazda RX-Vision Concept

Mazda RX-Vision Concept

With this latest concept, Mazda demonstrates to be following a different design direction compared to other Japanese carmakers like Honda and Toyota, which are creating heavily styled vehicles with busy, intricate surfacing.

Mazda RX-Vision Concept Interior

The rotary engine

Rotary engines feature a unique construction, generating power through the rotational motion of a triangular rotor.

Mazda is the only automaker that managed to use rotary engines on production cars. Overcoming numerous technical difficulties, the company succeeded in launching on a production model with the Cosmo Sport (known as Mazda 110S overseas) in 1967.

1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

The 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport / 110S

Over the years, this became one of the symbols of the company’s technical capabilities – and reached a pinnacle with the 1991 overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1991 Le Mans winning Mazda 787B

The Mazda 787B, the overall winner a the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was powered by a 4-rotor, 700 PS rotary engine, featured a carbon fiber body and reached a 210mph top speed.

As Mazda claims, the RX-Vision hits at a possible return of the rotary engine, and while its mass production is currently on hold, the latest evolution of the unit – named SKYACTIV-R – is being researched and developed with the goal of overcoming the technical difficulties and reaching series production, which could significantly contribute to the brand image.

Mazda RX 8 RENESIS Rotary engine and powertrain

The Mazda RX-8 RENESIS Rotary powertrain that equipped the RX-8

(Source: Mazda)

Image Gallery

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