Sunday, January 3, 2010

Report Says New Mazda RX-7 Could be Unveiled as Early as 2011


A proper two-door coupe replacement for the much-missed Mazda RX-7 could make its appearance as early as 2011 as a 2012 model, according to a report from Edmund's Inside Line. The news site says the introduction of the two-seat RX-7 will lead to the death of the four-seat RX-8 with its 'suicide-style' rear doors since it wouldn't make much sense for Mazda to have three different sports cars (including the MX-5 / Miata) in its lineup.

Officially, the only piece of information that Mazda has released about its next generation RX model is the development of a new 1.6-liter (800cc per rotor) rotary engine called the 16X Renesis. Rumor has it that the new engine can produce up to 350 ponies.

Inside Line says that while Mazda's initial plans were to offer the next RX-7 with a high-power version of the Wankel engine and a $35,000 price tag, the company is now considering to follow the example of the first generation model by developing a less powerful two-seater with not so many fancy features and a price of around $25,000.

In this case, the Wankel would deliver somewhere around 200 to 250HP, which shouldn't be a bad thing if Mazda manages to keep the rear-wheel drive coupe's weight down.

With the economy being what it is these days, and looking at the current and future (see Toyota FT-86) proposals in the segment, a less powerful but better priced RX-7 doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. Plus, there's always room for a more powerful version if the market's up to it.

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