Falling for Mazda and a Turbocharged Wankel

July 11th, 2014
Could a new RX-7 look like this?

Could a new RX-7 look like this?

I officially love Mazda.

I’ve slowly developed a crush on the scrappy little automaker and have been thoroughly impressed by the new Mazda3 and Mazda6. I even had a few scintillating hours with an older MazdaSpeed3.

She rocked my world, and I thought she was a one-time thing. But now I think I’ve transitioned into love.

How did this happen?

Maybe I’m just a sucker for rumors and the promise of future greatness. Maybe it’s talk of turbocharging the Wankel. Whatever the source of my newfound love affair, I dare you to read more and not fall in love, too.

Rumors of a new rotary-engined Mazda sports car have been fueling people’s fire for months now. One of the latest reports suggests that a new RX-7 successor could pack some serious ponies.

Earlier rumors pointed to Mazda creating a naturally aspirated Wankel rotary engine using SkyActiv technology to boost efficiency and make around 300 horsepower. That would’ve been pretty cool.

But not cool enough. Company executives shot down that setup, because it wouldn’t perform well enough or sell in enough volume to make a profit. So what did they do? They waited a while and then put a picture of a Porsche 911 on the wall and said, “Let’s compete with that.”

Are you feeling the love now?

To meet that goal, a twin-scroll turbocharger could be bolted to the revived Wankel and reportedly increase output to around 450 horsepower in the new RX-7.

Handling that added grunt would obviously require a substantial platform. Enter the basic structure of the RX-8, which is sturdy enough to handle all those extra horses.

The RX-8 was a weird little car with an odd 4-door setup, but don’t worry, because this new model will likely be a proper 2-door sports car.

With Mazda’s hot design, reasonable prices and now the potential for a huge supply of power, I think this love affair could become the real deal.

Are you ready for a 450-hp Mazda sports car, or does a used RX-7 or RX-8 sound better?

-tgriffith

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  1. DDA
    July 11th, 2014 at 14:12 | #1

    I owned a normally-aspirated RX-7 years ago and it was an awesome car. Since I could break the rear wheels (yeah, it was rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential in my model) loose on just about any surface, the fact that they offered a twin-turbo version seemed insane!

    I never liked the RX-8 styling; something about the front wheel covers just looked odd. But if they intro a new RX-7, I’ll definitely check that bad boy out!

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