The RX-8 is Mazda’s latest rotary powered car, but it was unfortunately discontinued back in 2012 because its engine no longer was compliant with the latest emission standards. Many people said that it would be the death of the Wankel engine, but it seems that this might not be true. In fact, not that long ago, Mazda released the RX Vision concept car which appears to be powered by a rotary engine. This car started many rumors about an upcoming 2016 Mazda RX8, the spiritual successor to the original and finally a true sports car from Mazda. Unfortunately so far the company hasn’t said anything about a production model but the 50th year anniversary is fast approaching, and it would make perfect sense for them to release such a car.
So far the actual details of the production model are unknown. However, it is quite safe to assume that the upcoming RX8 will be based on a similar platform to the Miata. This also happened in the past, and it should happen once again. Miata’s platform is a great starting point as it is light, modular and the most important thing, easy to stretch. The production RX8 is expected to be around 10 inches longer than the Miata, and it should be wider as well. Even it will be wider, longer and probably lower than its close sibling, it might still offer just two seats like a real sports car.
This would be a departure from the original, but the 2016 Mazda RX8 doesn’t want to be a successor of the older model. Instead, Mazda is trying to resurrect the rotary engine, and the best car to do that would be a true successor for the RX7. This was a two-door coupe with a long hood and a really aggressive stance. The concept was just that, and the production model is expected not to be all that different.
The production version of the car is likely going to be quite similar to the RX Vision concept car. While so far Mazda hasn’t said a word on the final design that will be implemented here, we are quite sure this will happen, and that new vehicle will be closely inspired by concept model. The Vision concept is quite similar to the older RX7, and it is clear that Mazda wants to stay close to the roots. Just like with the Miata, the interior design of the upcoming RX8 is expected to be quite minimalistic. This will allow the driver to focus on actually driving the car and deliver almost race car experience. On top of that, this design approach will make the small coupe seem larger than it is. Standard features will certainly include Recaro seats, leather upholstery, a large touchscreen for the infotainment system as well as exotic materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. Touchscreen will also be used to deliver more information’s about the car but also it will have the option to record performances and lap times.
2016 Mazda RX8 Engine and Transmission
Let’s now move to the part that many are interested in. The engine of the 2016 Mazda RX8 is expected to be a Wankel, rotary unit, just like its predecessor. This would make it the only car in the World to use this type of engine. A two rotor model is expected to be used while the displacement will likely be 1.6-liters. This is still well under many other cars out there but thanks to turbocharging and possibly supercharging, the new RX8 should deliver close to 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
This would be enough to challenge the upcoming Supra without compromising on anything. The only problem of the older model was the fact that drivers didn’t know how to use it. This time around Mazda said that they worked quite a bit on making the engine much better for both daily and track use. Also, the dreadful Apex seals are supposed to be improved considerably which means that the RX8 might be the car they always wanted it to be. A manual is expected to be used as a standard, but an automatic is not out of the question for now. We are sure that there will be an option with paddle shifters and it will probably offer best performances in that configuration.
We are still far from delivering any official numbers regarding performances and what to expect in this segment. But with 400 hp engine packed into lightweight and a small body of 2016 Mazda RX8 we can expect to see sub 4 seconds 0 to 60 mph sprint.