Mazda Sports Car Chief Says RX-7 will Return in 2017, Produce 295HP


If Helen of Troy was the face that launched a thousand ships, then the Mazda RX-7 is definitely the car that has launched a thousand rumors about being resurrected since its discontinuation a decade ago.

Even though it was replaced by the more practical, and still rotary-engine-powered, RX-8 in 2004, the hardcore RX-7 still holds a special place in the hearts of many sports car lovers around the world.

Since August 2011, when production of the RX-8 ceased, Mazda, the sole champion of rotary engines, does not have such a model in its line-up.

RX-7 fans will nevertheless be delighted to hear that the Hiroshima-based carmaker’s chief of sports car division Nobuhiro Yamamoto told The Motor Report during the launch of the revamped MX-5 roadster in Australia that the RX-7 is set to return in 2017.

The year coincides with the 50th anniversary of Mazda’s first Wankel-engined model, the Cosmo Sport, in 1967. Yamamoto, who also led the development of the 26B engine that powered the 787B to victory at Le Mans in 1991, said that specs of the fourth-generation RX-7 are not yet carved in stone.

The 1.3-liter 13B Renesis that powered the RX-8 will be dumped in favor of a development of the 16X, a 1.6-liter unit that despite being unveiled five years ago, hasn’t been used in any of Mazda’s production models yet.

According to Yamamoto, by using a special catalyst the new engine won’t have a problem meeting the stricter Euro VI emission regulations that will come into effect in 2017.

He added that the 16X motor is capable of producing 295HP (300PS, 220 Kw) – and that’s in normally aspirated form. Since his priorities are instant throttle response and linear power delivery, turbocharging is not very high in his agenda.

Yamamoto didn’t completely rule it out, though: “At this time, it has not been determined. Maybe later in life it will be turbo, but to start with maybe not”.

Built on a modified version of the next-generation MX-5 platform, the 2017 RX-7 “would definitely be lighter” than the third-generation model and “probably around the weight of the Toyota 86”, which means about 1,250 kg (2,750 pounds).

This will be made possible by the extended use of lightweight materials like aluminum. Carbon fiber won’t be employed due to its high cost, and hybrid or KERS systems are off the cards, too, because Yamamoto believes that the engine “for a pure sports car, it must be internal combustion.”

Although the GT86 was mentioned, Mazda’s sports car chief said that the new RX-7 won’t come cheap as it’s designed to be a premium product.

By Andrew Tsaousis

Story References: The Motor Report via

Thanks to Anthony for the tip!





AstonMartin said... »November 08, 2012

The return of the 80's sports car wars - loving this era. Hopefully Toyota will make a Supra announcement soon.

911 said... »November 08, 2012

Thank you GT86 for bringing back real sports cars! This is so nice to read I nearly dropped a tear^^
No word about the transmission though, although premium could point towards double clutch, which would be a complete turn off for me.

Nissan also seems to be preparing some kind of a 240Z successor, which will be sportier and lighter than the 370Z.
What's missing now is Honda announcing to build the NSX as RWD stick shift without the hybrid crap and a S2000 successor, how great would that be.

And once that happened maybe supercar builders go back to installing manual transmissions, so that I have something to dream about again...
The Mayan calendar predicts the world will end this year? Now I'm convinced that this won't happen :D

Med Ford said... »November 08, 2012

Amen to BRZ/FR-S/FT86 ... I just picked one up this Saturday ... As a current 350Z and 2010-STi owner, the little FR-S/FT86 runs rings around it in handling ... it's almost a let down sitting in the STi now (minus the power), tends to under steer at the limit with production suspension, you feel like you're sitting on top of the car not in it also (FR-S ... one of the best sitting positions I've owned: comparing to my 1983 Supra, 1996 300ZX, 2000 Corvette Z51, 05-350Z, 2010 STi)

Let the competitions for REAL sports cars begin again (not just mega HP ... something that's more chassis than HP and affordable) ... will THE REAL Slim Shady PLEASE stand up ;)

Jonathan Katz said... »November 08, 2012

The legend returns. I can't wait for more info to come about about this. Mazda needs a halo car in their lineup now

pureworxxx said... »November 08, 2012

the best news i've heard since the announcement of the nsx.

glad there wont be any of the hybrid/kers nonsense... wonder if mazda will make it dual fuel.. petrol/hydrogen? if i recall correctly they were testing hydrogen combustion in the renesis rotarys.

so it will keep true to the internal combustion statement.

aaronbbrown said... »November 08, 2012

This is a good idea, the last RX-7 was the end of the public's love affair with Mazda in the United States. The RX-8 was the wrong direction. Though it might've been successful on the racetrack, they didn't sell to the public nor where they truly embraced by the performance car enthusiasts. Instead of sharpening their scalpel, they dull it, and it lost its appeal altogether.

Eric Peters said... »November 08, 2012

Being 14 and the owner of an '85 GS this is the best news I have heard since.... EVER! think that the Rx8 was still a great machine just people underrate it because it is a four door.
When this comes out I will be old enough I will purchase another Rotary for a daily and see if these new ones can touch my first gen (;

Market Research said... »November 22, 2012

Amazing News!!!

Awaiting for RX-7 sports car...RX-8 rotary engine is also a good choice, it was underestimated because it was having four doors but still RX-8 is the best car ever created by Mazda. Waiting for more information about RX-7. Love Affair will be Start again with Mazda in United State. Market Analysis

Sanjay Sawant said... »February 19, 2013

Thanks for the information regarding return of Mazda Rx-7 with 295 horse power engine.I'm waiting for such a wonderful sports car.

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Anonymous said... »March 09, 2013

The rx8 was just known for handling if anything..the rotary in the rx8 had such poor torque numbers for a 2+2 model (4 door) was a dissapointment in general..but i did also have a 85 Gsl-se but the motor had no compression so it was 2 expensive 2 even fix myself at the time anyways so i had 2 let her go8/

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