I haven’t written any blogs in a while as there hasn’t honestly been anything from Mazda, which has made me stop and go WOW. Most people who have interactions with me would have thought I would be interested in the Mazda 3 TCR. The TCR car looks great, but when I learned Mazda went with the “Spec” engine for the series, it became a “meh” for me. Having an engine that is based on more or less a VW power plant pulling a Mazda around the track made it a lot less interesting. I do know why Mazda chose to go that path, but that is another story.
What did make me go WOW recently was at the Grand Turismo Championships when Mazda announced the RX-Vision GT3 concept! Mazda loves a sexy race car, and if you look at the past two, they have both come out of the Mazda North American studios. This concept is no exception as Julien Montousse, the design chief for Mazda North America, was present during the announcement of the car.
This is a big deal in my mind, we have just seen a change at Mazda USA with Nelson Cosgrove now appointed as the new director of Mazda Motorsports. Mazda has done everything except come right out and say we are going to build another rotary, and that message looks to be getting stronger. We have seen more patents popping up, calling out more tech and drawings of rotary goodness, including my favorite the top-mounted turbo rotary engine from years back.
Like anything Mazda teases us with, we will have to wait and see what happens. On a personal level, I hope Mazda gets us a 2020 Mazda 3 AWD turbo MT, but that is another one of those “wait and see” dreams from Mazda.
With more and more information circulating about the new Rotary and MX-5 Miata, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about these two beauties.
Mazda has been pretty tight-lipped about the next Rotary. In fact, just a few months ago, we heard a few sources claim that the Rotary wasn’t in development at all, or at least was no longer being focused on. Well, hope has been renewed! This news is thrilling, and it honestly lines up perfectly with what we published back in August: What Mazda Said That Will Have You Saying, “Take My Money!”
So what’s the excitement? Well, according to an article posted here, Mazda Kiyoshi Fijiwara (Managing Executive Officer) recently was referenced stating that they should be coming out with a new Rotary in 2017 at the Tokyo Motor show. Mazda is pretty big into anniversaries, and this just reaffirms our hunch they’ll use the 50-year anniversary of their first commercially available Rotary to release a new one. They did it with the 25th anniversary of the Miata MX-5, so why not the Rotary?
This is exciting news, and the best part is, they say it should have close to 300hp!
In case you can’t read Japanese, see the (slightly modified) Google Translation below:
Kiyoshi Fujiwara, the Mazda Managing Executive Officer, at the event in Spain was saying that the company is thought to publish a new car equipped with a rotary engine at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017.
2017: It’s a memorable year. The world’s first commercially-available car equipped with a rotary engine “Cosmo Sports” appeared 50 years earlier. The name of the new car is unknown. As specs become realities, it is clear the “RX-7” engine should come near the order of 300hp.
2016 MX-5 Miata Only Gets 155hp
In other news, the engine is officially confirmed at 155hp and 148 ft/lbs of torque for the next generation MX-5. Though this might seem underwhelming, we still have high hopes. The three reasons for these hope are as follows:
2015 Miata: 2,619 lbs, divided by 167 hp = 15.68 lbs per Horsepower
2016 Miata: 2,200 (estimated) lbs, divided by 155hp = 14.19 lbs per Horsepower
It’s only an estimate, but the next Gen MX-5 would have to weigh over 2,400 lbs in order to have a worse power-to-weight ratio than the current model.
Mazda knows more than ever that everyone wants a faster and higher horsepower car. This knowledge, and the fact that they don’t currently produce, and have not announced, plans to introduce a single Mazdaspeed variant of any of their cars, gives us hope. You might think that makes no sense, but consider it: Doesn’t all their silence about the next Mazdaspeed seem strange? How can a company that has the most vehicles racing in the World on any given weekend NOT have a Mazdaspeed? Secrets.
Mazda has been parading around their Super20 Miata since 2012—a roughly 250 horsepower supercharged Miata that’s received incredible press and reviews. Of course, it isn’t available for public sale. So why does Mazda continue to tease us? Why produce these totally reachable cars that people want without actually producing them for sale? It could just be for publicity, but our bet is also that Mazda has secretly been working on the next Mazdaspeed, and it will be an Mx-5. If we’re right…. we would guess everyone will receive a good confirmation of the next Mazdaspeed MX-5 soon.
The MX-5 is the pinnacle of Mazdas to modify. More people are modifying their Miata/MX-5 than probably all other Mazdas combined. What does this mean? Turbos, Intakes, Exhausts, Suspension, Bodykits, Lighting: There are so many mods!! Mazda knows people love to modify their cars. If they don’t do it themselves, they know their customers will, which is why we have a feeling that with a few small tweaks, we’ll have this next MX-5 purring and putting out an extra 20-40 horsepower in no time.
Check out The Jalopnik article on the Miata and it’s 155HP: HERE.
Mazda said WHAT about the Rotary in 2017? Also, the 2016 MX-5 December 18th, 2017CorkSport
Twas the Night Before Christmas, the Corksport Version
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that some new parts soon would be there.
The Car guy was comfy and snug in his bed, While visions of racetracks looped in his head. The Mazda in park, the keys tucked away, Just one more night of sleep, then we’ll all race away.
When out of the blue, a thought came to mind, why on earth is he waiting?
Let’s go for a drive! He grabbed up the keys, woke the girl with a shout Hey baby, it’s Christmas and we’re headed out! The family forgotten and plans set aside We’re headed to the track, let’s go for a drive.
It was simple and planned, so quickly it seemed, in her sleepy state it seemed just a dream. Okay mister, whatever you say. She slipped on her slippers and they were on their way.
Car guy beamed from head to toe, he knew their destination just one place to go. The track wasn’t far, and the traffic was light, This will be the best Present Such a simple delight!
No family, no mess, no ties and no dress, Just you and me girl, this 1 time request.
They got to the track in no time at all, Sparkling white on the ground just a light snow fall When over to his right something caught his eye “We’re not alone” thought the Car guy Of course to his wondering eyes there appeared An old style sleigh being pulled by reindeer? He tossed it in gear to confirm his delight He shook his head, disbelief at the sight
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, He knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than mustangs as drivers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
Don’t over do it boys! Steer clear of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
They were so quick, so fast, as if they could fly, Car guy thought to himself, perhaps we should try. Revving the engine he pulled right on through To the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
The smile and twinkle in that old mans eye Made car guy grin and look to the sky. No flying, not crashing, we’ll take on the course The old man smiled, do you know of this force?
A simple nod of his head is all it took He looked over the sleigh and each tiny hoof. Carguy turned and looked over his opponent, Just giving in to this memorable moment.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had sorted in the back, he looked like a veteran, he could drive ’round this track.
His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
You know what to do Car guy said to his girl, She hopped right out and gave her scarf a twirl. On three boys, please be safe and be clean She raised it in the air, how fitting it’s green.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Old Saint Nick might be something to dread. His whip in hand, he gave it a crack, And off they went, leaving behind the toy sack.
The wind blowing through that snowy white beard, Carguy could hear the sound of the cold in his ears. Jingling as they went, the sleigh in tow, The reindeer were fast, damn car is feeling slow. Curses thought Carguy as he slammed on the gas, I want to beat him, we need to be fast.
He awoke with a start, to the sound of her voice,
Knock it off Carguy or I’ll give you a choice. To the couch with you if you can’t control, Your twitching and turning and stupid body roll. He laughed to himself, of course just a dream, But what’s in his hand, a scarf of green?
He went to the window and looked into the night He heard the jingle and saw a plain sight There he was right there in the drive, St Nick and his sleigh, of course he’s alive.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a yell, Get on it boys, we won, all is well. Carguy shook his head and laughed at it all, He would swear that he saw,
St Nick and his reindeer give him the “paw” Carguy learned something that‘s true, Don’t race Santa and his eight reindeer crew. He looked into the sky, to see them in flight “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”
Twas the Night Before Christmas, the Corksport Version September 13th, 2018CorkSport
With all of the talk of doom and gloom for the next rotary I wanted to share the experience I had with the help of Mazda during Sevenstock 17 on Nov 22nd. I hate to say it but while I was at Sevenstock helping out with the Diesel Mazda 6 I experienced the awesome side benefit of being next to three 4 rotor cars in the same garage.
The recent message given from Mazda about the rotary engine being important but not in the cards for a current car has been a heart breaker for the rotor heads out there, myself included as I daily drive an 87 Turbo FC. I can definitely say that from the top down the rotary engine is important to Mazda despite it not being considered for a new car right now. Take a look at this 787 which Robert Davis (senior vice president U.S. operations aka he runs the show in US) personally drives.
There is a genuine love for the rotary with him, I watched him wipe down the car after going out onto the track for one session. In conversations, the restoration of other rotary race cars was brought up many times and when Robert isn’t driving the 787 above he rolls in an Rx8 in NASA PT racing, when time affords it.
See the first car in the line below? It is one of the Rx-792P IMSA GTP prototypes.
I watched Weldon Munsey (Manager of Dealer Affairs) hop out after just one session with a big smile on his face. You could tell he just loves driving that car.
This next car is one of my favorite Rotary race cars (as I had the opportunity to see it raced at Portland Intl Raceway in the early 90s). The 4 rotor GTO kept the basic shape of the FC rx7 (which included the stock roof panel, windshield, and tail lights) and the rest of the car was pure business with a 4 rotor engine.
Not a big surprise another Mazda executive drives it, Jeremy Barnes (Director of public relations). I am sure the re-occurring theme is not lost here, these guys love rotaries and if the opportunity presents they will be pulling to get another car released for all us rotards out there. In the meantime enjoy the video below from Sevenstock 17 with a few drive byes of the 787 and the 792p wide open on the throttle at Autoclub Speedway.
– Derrick Ambrose from CorkSport
Derrick started working with cars when he was in high school. A friend had a GLC which they tweaked a bit which then became a 323 then into RX-7s and it was all Mazda down hill from there. His current projects are a 1968 Mustang, The 1988 323 GTX (never ending project), 1986 Honda Shadow Motorcycle and a 1968 Silverline Rambler 16′boat. For motorsports activities he has previously participated in drag racing the CorkSport Protege Drag car and Rally Cross with the 323 GTX. Currently he is driving the CorkSport Mazda 2 B-Spec race car.
If you attend any events CorkSport is at Derrick will be the guy you will talk to at most of them, so stop by and say hello!
We received some sad news a few days ago about the much loved Rotary RX-7, RX-8 and other RX series. The official word according to the Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai is that “we don’t have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan.” when asked about a future RX.
Honestly I’d love to pontificate about this more, but there isn’t much to say. It sounds like the final word from the current CEO. When pushed further he gave some reasoning that honestly makes perfect sense, “If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products.” Also stated was the fact that “It’s difficult for us at present to further expand our lineup. The company is still in the process of improving its financial structure. We want to focus our limited resources on the Skyactiv products that we have today”
Though this probably makes the most sense from a stability standpoint, it certainly doesn’t make us excited or want to say “Zoom-Zoom”. What happened to the Mazda passion? All that racing knowledge and development? Did they just give up on pushing the bar? Honestly, I don’t think so, I just think they are changing focus. The Rotary is off the board in the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean their current lineup won’t see some improvements…. after all, what about that Mazdaspeed 3 and MX-5?
Nonetheless, let us all take a moment of silence and mourn the passing of the RX series, for now.
Written by Spencer Carson. Spencer is a car enthusiast and Mazda fan at heart. Whether enjoying the power of a modified Mazdaspeed 3, or driving top down in his 1992 MX5, he always enjoys getting behind the wheel. As much as Spencer loves driving, he loves helping out other Mazda owners even more. Whether helping at a local install day or heading to a car meet across the country, he loves chatting about Mazda and giving advice on how to get more Zoom-Zoom out of any car.
The End of the Mazda Rotary RX November 21st, 2014CorkSport