September 29, 2023

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10 Things We Expect From The Upcoming Mazda RX-9 Sports Car

If you’re even remotely interested in sports car, chances are you’ve heard of the legendary Mazda RX-7 and RX-8 cars. While the RX-7 became a cult icon, cementing itself as one of the most memorable and revered Japanese sports cars ever made, the RX-8 did leave a bit of a sour taste in everybody’s mouth. Performance-wise, the RX-8 left no room for complaints, but the rotary engine in the RX-8 is one of the most notoriously unreliable engines ever made. All that aside, the rumor-mill has been rife with the possibility of the much-awaited Mazda RX-9 finally arriving this year, in 2023.

After over a decade of waiting, Mazda and sports car fans might finally lay their eyes on a fully-realized RX-9 sports car. There’s plenty of speculation about what the Mazda RX-9 could present to enthusiasts, and much of it is based on patents Mazda has made in the recent past. From a new engine to the ‘Vision’ visual design language, here are 10 things we expect from the upcoming Mazda RX-9 sports car.



10 The 2023 Mazda RX-9 Could Ride On A Six-Cylinder Engine

the rumoured 2022 Mazda RX-9

The Mazda RX-7 made the Japanese marque’s Wankel rotary engine extremely popular among enthusiasts, with its ‘front mid-engine’ layout. With the RX-8, the Renesis 13B rotary engine had sufficient power, but was extremely notorious for constant problems and breakdowns.

As such, there is every possibility that the new Mazda RX-9 could end up ditching the rotary engine altogether, and instead opt for a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. In the power department, we could expect over 300 hp, and we wouldn’t disregard the possibility of even 350hp.

9 There Could Also Be A New Electric-Rotary Powerplant On The New Mazda RX-9

the rumoured 2022 Mazda RX-9

When it comes to possible power trains for the Mazda RX-9, Mazda could also have a special something up its sleeve. In 2021, Mazda applied for a patent for a sports car running on an electrified-rotary engine. This opens up the possibility of the RX-9 running being a PHEV, or offering a PHEV variant, at least.

The rotary engine, paired with three electric motors, would also give the RX-9 all-wheel drive capabilities, which weren’t present either on the RX-7 or the RX-8. All of this information was found by The Drive.

RELATED: 10 Cheap JDM Sports Cars With Proven Reliability For A Lifetime Of Fun

8 The Mazda RX-9 Could Closely Resemble Mazda’s RX-Vision Concept

2022 Mazda RX-9

In 2015, Mazda had unveiled the RX-Vision concept, which was a beautiful concept car with the curves so sleek it wouldn’t look out of place on the road even five years from today. In 2017, the Mazda Vision Coupe concept was unveiled, which was similar to the 2015 vehicle.

As such, if and when the Mazda RX-9 arrives, it should closely resemble the RX-Vision concept. After all, the long hood and the laid-back cockpit is quintessential RX, and we expect the RX-9 to have a fresh but faithful take on the RX design language.

7 Mazda Would Pack The New RX-9 With ADAS Features

Mazda RX-9: The new rotary motor that will take over the world.
via: Autocar

This one is certainly a no-brainer. While both the Mazda RX-7 and RX-8 had plenty of safety features like ABS, traction control, airbags, and the RX-8 had Dynamic Stability Control as well, the RX-9 is certainly going to surpass all of that.

For starters, not only would the Mazda RX-9 be an extremely safe vehicle with plenty of safety systems in place, but it would be loaded with ADAS features, and Mazda’s i-Activsense safety suite would be in its best form for the RX-9.

RELATED: Watch This Ridiculous 1300-HP Mazda RX-7 Melt GoPros Like Butter

6 The Mazda RX-9 Could Employ Two Different Kinds Of Electric Motors

Mazda RX-9 Sports Car - High Expectations From RX-8 Successor
Via Mazda

From what we’ve learned by reading the 2021 patent from Mazda for an electrified rotary-powered sports car, the RX-9, in its PHEV avatar, wouldn’t just employ three electric motors, but those motors wouldn’t all be the same.

For the front wheels of Mazda’s electrified rotary-powered sports car, which we’re hoping will be the RX-9, two electric motors would be employed. However, over at the rear, a permanent magnet synchronous motor would be placed behind the engine. This is what would give the RX-9 its AWD capabilities.

5 The New Mazda RX-9 Will Be Developed Jointly With The New Toyota GR GT3

Toyota GR GT3 Concept Featured Image
via Toyota

Last year, Toyota GAZOO racing unveiled the GR GT3 concept, and boy did we love it. The Mazda RX-9 could possibly be built jointly with Toyota’s project, which is under testing in Japan currently. Reports state that the GR GT3 could be branded a Lexus exclusively, and time will tell if that will happen.

In the meantime, the Mazda RX-9 would go neck-and-neck with the Toyota GR GT3. Plus, while we’re hoping, we could also wish for a track-focused variant of the RX-9. Fingers crossed, though.

RELATED: Leaked Patent Images Show The Toyota GR GT3 Minus Rear Wing

4 Mazda Might Unveil The New RX-9 Before The End Of The Year

Mazda RX-Vision Rear Quarter View Black Background
via Mazda

Ever since all the way back in 2015, rumors of a Mazda RX-9 have been on again, off again. The RX-Vision concept did get enthusiasts excited, but ever since, there has been nothing to show for it. However, with the GR GT3 nearing production, and the RX-9 being developed closely alongside it, there is enough there to hope for a 2023 unveiling for a possible RX-9 from Mazda.

As such, the rumor mill suggests that Mazda could show the RX-9 the light of day before 2023 ends. The extra optimistic just might want to pin their hopes on the Japan Mobility Show, which would take place in October later this year in 2023.

3 While Luxurious, The Mazda RX-9’s Cabin Would Remain Driver-Focused

There is no doubt in our minds that the cabin of the Mazda RX-9 would be decked with luxury. While a sports car that stays faithful to its roots, the RX-9 will most certainly offer ramped up luxury for all its occupants, including every modern in-cabin tech and feature except the kitchen sink. Mazda has been upping their game when it comes to interiors, after all.

However, in staying true to its RX roots, the RX-9 will undoubtedly present a driver-focused cabin for the enthusiasts. While the hood of the RX-9 might not be as elongated as that on the RX-Vision concept, the cockpit will most certainly be laid back.

RELATED: Why Its Worth Waiting For The Electric Mazda MX-5 Miata

2 Carbon Fiber And Aluminum Could Play Significant Roles In The New Mazda RX-9

Mazda RX-Vision Coupe Concept 2017

The past has shown that rotary engines aren’t always the most reliable, nor are they impressive when it comes to fuel efficiency. With the entire auto industry moving towards more efficient power trains and motors, the Mazda RX-9, if it does ride on an Internal Combustion Engine, would definitely employ plenty of carbon fiber and aluminum in its chassis.

These materials are known to make vehicles significantly lighter, while maintaining strength and toughness that is expected of a sports car like the RX-9. Plus, the light weight of the car would help with efficiency as well. In that vein, we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see plenty of carbon fiber and aluminum throughout the build of the Mazda RX-9.

1 Lastly, The Mazda RX-9 Might Remain A Distant Dream

Mazda RX-Vision Concept 2015

Mazda has been quite open and vocal about their commitment to the electrification of their lineup in the near future. By 2025, the Japanese brand should have three all-electric models that are currently slated for release, with many more hybrid and PHEV alongside them. After all, a $10.6 billion electrification strategy is no joke.

As such, it is possible that an ICE-powered RX-9 may either take the backseat, be shelved, or even just be made completely electric from the get-go, which would end up alienating ardent JDM and Japanese sports car fans. Nevertheless, we’ve been waiting for over a decade now for a Mazda RX-9 to finally come out, and truth be told, we’d take what we can get.

Sources: US Patent and Trademark Office, MazdaUSA, Toyota Global