Mazda RX-Vision: Reality or Illusion?

Mazda RX-Vision concept

What happens when a Mazda RX-8 falls into a cotton candy machine?

You’ve seen how those machines stretch and pull the candy until it finally wraps itself around the cardboard stick. The new Mazda RX-Vision concept, pictured above, is the car-equivalent to stretched cotton candy.

And it’s gorgeous.

How did this wonder of automotive design happen? Will it actually come into existence? Will regular people like you and me be able to buy one? And most of all, if it does happen, how will it be powered?

The answer to that last question is perhaps even more exciting than the sleek shape you see in the photo before you.

Mazda’s rotary engine died in 2012 because it was not efficient enough for modern use. It was last seen in the RX-8 and there’s been nearly zero hope that it would ever come back. Fans of the engine have clamored for its return in the years since, but Mazda remained silent.

Until this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, that is, where Mazda unveiled a sleek and swooping RX-Vision concept.

The RX-Vision is said to be powered by an all-new rotary engine dubbed SkyActive-R. The name implies that its engineers have figured out how to make the spinning triangle engine much more fuel-efficient, though no specifics have been released.

The Verge said,

Although rotary engines present serious technical challenges when it comes to meeting fuel efficiency targets and emissions guidelines, they’re known for cramming immense power inside a compact, lightweight package with fewer moving parts than piston engines.

They tend to be reliable and long-lasting as well.

This is incredibly exciting on the surface. Read Mazda’s press release, though, and it becomes clear that the company may not have full confidence in rotary’s potential.

RX-Vision represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality. A front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with exquisite, Kodo design-based proportions only Mazda could envision, and powered by the next-generation SkyActiv-R rotary engine.

That leads me to believe that the technology isn’t complete yet. This concept is probably just a lofty goal meant to test the public’s reception of the rotary engine, should engineers ever figure out how to build one that’s efficient.

Could you see the RX-Vision in your garage?


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