Mazda RX9: Rotary News, Updates & What Need To Know Rotary? Non-Rotary? We'll see...

Rumor is NO ROTARY in the new RX9

The Mazda RX9 rumors are swirling and we’re here to set them straight! The Mazda RX9 intentions are to create a 2+2 sized affordable coupe sports car that will carry on their sports car legacy. Mazda hasn’t produced a rotary car since the 2012 Mazda RX8 rolled off the assembly line.

Note: Traditionally, Mazda cars with pistons are usually badged MX. Mazda rotary cars are badged RX which is what started the RX lineage that we go into detail below. 

Mazda Leak Info:

The new Mazda RX9 is rumored to NOT HAVE A Wankel rotary engine. It is expected to have an inline six-cylinder version of the Mazda SkyActiv engine expected to have 350-400hp. They are also expected to make a gas and diesel version of these I6 engines. 

First announced by writer Jason Torchinsky at Jalopnik 

The source comes from someone who knows a top-level Mazda employee (not an employee) so how reliable is it? This is up for debate all day but this has been the only news on this subject so I don’t believe people are completely lying for attention on this subject. This source is anonymous and Jalopnik went through great lengths to protect their identity.

Why Not Put A Rotary?

I think it comes down to two things: current emission standards and current technology limitations would make a performance rotary engine near impossible to make happen and it definitely would not live up to the standards of Mazda when it comes to performance. Mazda wants a car that can compete with the A90 Supra and they are a business so keep that in mind.

What We Know So Far:

First Previewed in 2017 – The RX9 we know now was first previewed at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show. At this time, it was expected to be priced at $75,000 USD

Officially Trademarked RX9 Naming – This proves that they will most likely go ahead with this same RX naming even though this car is rumored to not have a rotary engine.

Built With Performance First – The RX9 is expected to have around 400 horsepower (300KW) while Mazda is trying to keep the weight under 2,800 lbs (1,300 KG)

In Competition With A90 Supra – With the move to an I6 engine, this would put the RX9 in direct competition with the new MK5 Toyota Supra. It would also be in the same price point as well which is probably exactly what Mazda was planning on after seeing the Supra’s success.

Patented Sports Car Subframe – Mazda patented a subframe like structure that resembles a sports car double wishbone. In this patient image, you can see a small space for an engine that would ideally be perfect for a rotary engine but we can’t really tell exact dimensions from these mockups.

Mazda Released A New Hybrid Rotary Engine For MX-30 – Mazda recently launched the MX-30 with a rotary hybrid version and this was rumored to be a similar engine to the one in the RX9. This hybrid rotary engine is not a performance engine, it’s basically a generator or battery charger for an electric motor. The rumors in 2015-2018 were that Mazda was going to make a performance version of this engine but right now the technology is not looking to be worth it or possible right now.

Mazda Head of R&D Ichiro Hirose was quoted: “The flexible rotary engine is a major solution for electrification technologies. It’s compact and lightweight with outstanding NVH. By using the rotary engine in a variety of ways, we can improve the cost efficiency – that means we can lower the hurdle of putting the rotary engine on a sports car. I really wish that we can justify this car. We have that dream, of course.”

Head of Brand & Design Ikuo Maeda also said: “If we just look at the rotary engine, to meet current environmental requirements, technology-wise, it will be difficult for a rotary to meet these,” he said. “Mazda is looking at combining different technologies in our vehicles. If we can look at some suitable and fitting combination [for a sports car] then that might be a good solution.”

Maeda added: “It is hard just to focus on studying high-performance sports cars with a rotary engine, but we wanted to see how we can evolve the technology by going through this type of trial [with the rotary range extender]. And, of course, we share the same dream that in the future we would like to have an RX-type sports car.

These quotes are what sparked the rotary rumors for the RX9 back in 2015 and they have been zooming since. This new leak is historic because all the RX branded cars have had rotary engines, this would be the first to not which is why enthusiasts are truly upset. RX cars started as Rotary eXperiment in the Mazda R&D department which is how they got the RX branding.

The Evolution of Mazda The RX Branded Rotary Cars

To simplify some things here, some of the RX cars are also named something else when they are not rotary cars. The term RX stands for Rotary eXperiment which means that they were just dropping rotary engines into whatever would work. They went through most of their models and were able to tastefully drop a bunch of rotary variations of their most popular cars and now we look back at the line-up in awe.

RX1 or Mazda R100 or Rotary Mazda Familia

This little car is what started it all! The R100 was the sporty 2-door version of the Mazda Familia and was sold from 1967-1973. The RX1 was the R100 optioned with a rotary engine instead of the regular piston-powered.

Quick Info

Wheelbase: 2,260 mm (89.0 in)

Curb Weight: 865 kg (1,907 lb)

Length: 3,845–4,160 mm (151.4–163.8 in)

Width: 1,480 mm (58.3 in)


RX2 or Mazda Capella or Capella Rotary

The Mazda Capella was available with a rotary option from 1970-1978. The Capella was available in a 2 door and a 4 door variation.

Quick Info

Wheelbase: 2,470 mm (97 in)

Curb Weight: 865 kg (1,907 lb)

Length: 3,845–4,160 mm (151.4–163.8 in)

Width: 1,480 mm (58.3 in)


RX3 or Mazda Savanna

The Mazda Savanna is the rotary version of the Mazda Grand Familia and is the little brother to the Capella. The Savanna is smaller and sportier-looking while maintaining the classic Mazda Capella look.

Quick Info

Wheelbase: 2,310 mm (90.9 in)

Curb Weight: 930 kg (2,050 lb)

Length: 4,075 mm (160.4 in)

Width: 1,595 mm (62.8 in)


RX4 or Mazda Luce or Luce Rotary

The Luce is the largest brother between the Capella and the Savanna. It had similar body lines and tasteful features while keeping its own individual look in the line-up. The Luce was available from 1972-1977.

Quick Info

Wheelbase: 2,510 mm (98.8 in) sedan

Curb Weight: 1,060 kg (2,337 lb) sedan

Length: 4,240 mm (166.9 in) Formal sedan

Width: 1,660 mm (65.4 in)


RX5 or Mazda Cosmo or Cosmo Rotary

The Mazda Cosmo has been through a few facelifts but the sizing is slightly bigger than the RX4 while also carving out its own unique shape.

Quick Info

Wheelbase: 2,200 mm (86.6 in)

Curb Weight: 940 kg (2,072.3 lb)

Length: 4,140 mm (163.0 in)

Width: 1,595 mm (62.8 in)


RX6 – There was none! Maybe 6 is unlucky? Why do you think they didn’t go for the RX6? Let us know on Twitter if you are into that thing: @thrdwrldsociety


Mazda RX7 (FB, FC & FD)

There are 3 versions of the RX7 – the FB, FC, FD. These are the most popular rotary cars on the planet and the debate between FB, FC and FD will go on forever.

Quick Info: Mazda RX7 FB Bodystyle

Wheelbase: 2,420 mm (95.3 in)

Curb Weight: 1,043–1,134 kg (2,300–2,500 lb)

Length: 4,285 mm (168.7 in)

Width: 1,675 mm (65.9 in)


Quick Info: Mazda RX7 FC Bodystyle

Wheelbase:  2,431 mm (95.7 in)

Curb Weight: 1,223–1,584 kg (2,696–3,492 lb)

Length: 1986-88: 4,290 mm (168.9 in) & 1989–92: 4,315 mm (169.9 in)

Width: 1,689 mm (66.5 in)


Quick Info: Mazda RX7 FD Bodystyle

Wheelbase: 2,425 mm (95.5 in)

Curb Weight: 1,218–1,340 kg (2,685–2,954 lb)

Length: 4,285 mm (168.7 in)

Width: 1,760 mm (69.3 in)


RX8 or Mazdaspeed RX8 in JP

This was the last rotary car Mazda has built. The RX8 features smaller clamshell-style doors and was offered in automatic or a 6-speed manual.

Quick Info

Wheelbase: 2,703 mm (106.4 in)

Curb Weight: Manual models: 1,309–1,373 kg (2,886–3,027 lb) & Automatic models: 1,384 kg (3,051 lb)

Length: 03–08: 4,425 mm (174.2 in) & 08–12: 4,470 mm (176.0 in)

Width: 1,770 mm (69.7 in)


Mazda RX9 (This is where we are now…err about to be)

This whole article is about the RX9 but here are some of the previous concept art, concept cars and initial photos of what we’ve seen so far. These concept renders are a little dated but are ranging all the way back to 2013 so they were a little a head of their time.



What The Community Is Saying About These RX9 Rumors

We gathered some of the best comments from around the internet on anything RX9 and you can get a good sense of what people are feeling. It seems like the Rotary community is more upset at the fact that they are going to name this car RX even though it is not going to be a rotary engine. Some enthusiasts think it should be called the MX-9, what do you think?

Commentor Sean goes into depth on the entire line-up that Mazda has and what is replacing what. It seems we are going through a major naming switch and after we are through this awkward period, the Maza line-up will be simplified.

While commentor Felix believes that Mazda would never put the RX badge on a car that wouldn’t have a rotary option so he believes this car will be available with a rotary option in the future? An interesting idea!

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Make sure to bookmark or save this page because we are going to update it whenever we get more information! This is an epic event for all of us Mazda supporters and we don’t want you to miss a thing.

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