If you’re an automotive journalist who’s also a gear head, it’s easy to despair over all the news coming from manufacturer’s these days. Like them or not, we’re about to be force fed a steady diet of hybrid automobiles in every shape, size and configuration. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-hybrid; they have their place in commuter cars. I AM anti-hybrid when it comes to building an enthusiast oriented sport sedan. I don’t want the added weight, complexity or cost of a hybrid drivetrain, especially when the increase in fuel mileage is only 10 to 20 percent.
So with that in mind, I really hope the latest rumor about Mazda, as reported on Autoevolution, is true. Sources at Mazda report work on a turbocharged variant of their Renesis rotary motor, for use in a new sports coupe dubbed the RX 9. The best news is that we’ll see the car as soon as 2013, and it appears that Mazda is taking it in the pure-sports-car direction of the last generation RX-7 Turbo.
There are some significant hurdles to overcome, including lowering emissions from the Renesis motor (now out of production in the EU because of stricter environmental regulations) and boosting the Renesis’ dismal fuel economy. Mazda has tricks up their sleeve to address these failings, but they’re not providing many details. An inside source reveals that Mazda is working on electric turbocharging as a way to reduce emissions, which will need to meet even stricter standards in the EU by 2014.