Despite Mazda’s recent claim that they’re going upscale across their product line, Motor Authority has information that would indicate this won’t apply to the replacement for the RX7, to be called the RX9. The car is still years away from production (and development of the next generation, 1.6 liter rotary motor is behind schedule), but the RX9 is said to be based on the Mazda MX-5 platform. Rather than going upmarket like the RX8 attempted to do, the RX9 will be an affordable pure sports car.
Early rumors have the next generation Renesis rotary engine making over 300 horsepower, thanks in part to an electrically powered supercharger. The new motor is said to have better fuel efficiency and cleaner emission than the Renesis in the current RX8. That’s a good thing, since driving the RX8 as the engineers intended yields fuel economy somewhere between “horrific” and “atrocious”. Perhaps Mazda’s most ambitious goal is weight reduction; the plan is to ensure the car goes to market at under 2,800 pounds. Let me see: 300 horsepower, 2,800 pounds and one of the world’s best handling platforms as a starting point? And you’re going to keep the car affordable? I say sign me up and let me know when I can place one on order.