Mazda Sports Car
GIF The legend of Ron Burgundy and the legendary burgundy RX-Vision concept.A prototype of a new rotary-powered Mazda ‘RX-9' has been approved by the company’s board of directors to hit dealerships in 2020, according to a report by Motoring. That’d be an awesome way for Mazda to celebrate 100 years of Zoom-Zoom, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.The Mazda RX-Vision Concept Is The Return To Rotary Power We've Been Dreaming AboutAfter years of bad magazine rumors, false starts, hand-wringing and broken dreams, Mazda is…Read more Apparently based on the Ferrari-inspired RX-Vision concept which debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda may-or-may-not have greenlit a production ‘RX-9' rotary powered sports car for its centenary in 2020. AdvertisementWe got maybe a little too excited when we heard that Mazda had been hard at work on developing a new rotary engine, especially with hearing that they may be playing with turbo and hybrid power. The word back then was that they’d put it in production if they could get it to not have any of the problems the rotary is infamous for, and kind of hinted for us to not hold our breath. Citing Holiday Auto Magazine, Motoring reports that a successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 sports cars has been greenlit by the Mazda board of directors and should be on its way for 2020. A prototype debut in 2017 was also mentioned. The reported powerplant will be a twin-turbo, twin-rotor 1.6 liter rotary sending power to the correct wheels in the rear. What wasn’t mentioned was any direct quote from any solid sources, so drool at your own risk. Recommended StoriesHoly Crap Mazda's Working On A New Turbo Rotary EngineThe Rotary Engine SucksThe Mazda RX-Vision Is Gorgeous Because It's Inspired By Vintage Ferraris
Mazda Sports Car
Mazda is the only carmaker in the world to successfully bring to market and mass-produce the rotary engine. It is a symbol of the company’s tirelessly challenging spirit and, as the soul of the Mazda brand, it represents the unique and innovative technology that helped establish the brand and create a solid bond between Mazda and its customers. That is why rotary engine research and development continues today, even though there are no rotary-powered cars in the current product lineup.
Mazda Sports Car
When you think about automotive muscle, you probably don’t think about Mazda. The Japanese company, founded in 1920 in Hiroshima, has long been known for delivering agility — or, as the automaker calls it, “zoom-zoom” — in vehicles to consumers around the world. Mazda MX-5 Miata, the brand’s most famous product, serves as a perfect example of what lightweight construction and just enough power can do for a sports car.
Mazda Sports Car
The Mazdaspeed 6 was a performance version of the midsize sedan that launched in 2005. At the time, Mazda estimated it could hit 60 miles per hour in 6.2 seconds, and most tests made that claim look conservative. (Car and Driver got there in 5.4 seconds in 2007.) This model peaked at 274 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, giving it the goods to outrun every Mazda car in production as of 2017. Testers actually got close to 150 miles per hour in this one.
Mazda Sports Car
In Mazda’s recent history, the speedy 3 hatchback is probably the brand’s fastest car. It peaked at 148 miles per hour in Car and Driver tests, and ran to 60 in 5.8 seconds with Motor Trend drivers behind the wheel. Rumors of a new Mazdaspeed 3 have been in the air for years, but for now Mazda is letting this legend continue. We can’t say when — or if — there will be another for consumers in the near future. Used models would be your best bet. The last edition ran in the 2013 model year.
Mazda Sports Car
Today’s car consumers may not be aware of Mazda’s performance history, but it was definitely worth noting in decades past. A prime example would be the RX-8, a spiritual (if not mechanical) descendant of the RX-7, which was itself the brand’s hottest thing, starting in the late 1970s. By the early 2000s, Mazda had dispensed with the RX-7 and made the RX-8, a less potent but still capable ride. Edmunds ran the base model to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, and to the quarter mile in 15.1 seconds.
Naturally, Mazda can only do so much bragging without a Miata ending up on its fastest list. The 2017 MX-5 Miata delivers on all counts. Car and Driver testers needed just 5.8 seconds to sprint to 60 miles per hour in this model. (Road and Track got there in 6.1 seconds.) With a top speed of 129 miles per hour, the latest Miata is a worthy successor to Mazda’s greatest models.
If you want to talk about Mazda performance cars, you have to include the rotary-engine RX-7 in the conversation. Between its 1978 launch and its final U.S. model in 1995, the RX-7 was the car that kept critics and enthusiasts alike in thrall. Capable of reaching 60 miles per hour in just 5.3 seconds, it had the quickness drivers crave. The RX-7 had a variety of trims and variations that hit the market, but the final version (launched in 1991) still holds true as one of Mazda’s fastest to this day. It could reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
As with the RX-8 special edition that arrived later, Mazda RX-7 Spirit R was the final, peak model for this performance legend. Since it never made it to America, rare isn’t even an adequate term to describe it. RX-7 Spirit R was an impractical car — calling it a gas-guzzler would be kind — and it had more power than it claimed (emissions controls). Regardless, everyone who ever got behind the wheel reported pure bliss and acceleration times better than in any other Mazda. The RX-7 Spirit could hit 60 miles per hour in five seconds, and it topped 150 miles per hour.
Drivers looking for maximum fun on a minimal budget should look no further than the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata. No other car in its price range can come close to its corner-carving agility. It may not have the most potent powertrain in a sports car, but its standard manual transmission will give enthusiasts plenty to enjoy when choosing the right gear. The Miata also earns excellent fuel economy estimates compared to rivals. Aside from the thrills of top-down cruising, the Miata is well-equipped with tech features, and there are more optional safety features in the MX-5 than in nearly every competitor.
While Mazda’s signature sports car is by no means a road warrior, there are several editions of the Miata that pack a punch. Take the Mazdaspeed MX-5 from 2004. This handsome roadster got some extra kick in terms of horsepower (178, to be exact) and aerodynamic upgrades. The fellows from Car and Driver took one to the track in mid-aughts and returned with very favorable impressions: This Miata hit 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds, and vaulted to 127 miles per hour at its peak.
True, you don’t hunt out a Mazda when you want brute force. There are countless Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros, and Dodge Chargers from the last 50 years to help you out on that front. Instead, you go to Mazda to get the most zoom for every horse the engine can produce. This way, you can still get your speed fix even if you aren’t blowing the doors off a Shelby at the stoplight.
The top of the line for the Mazda RX-8 was the Spirit R variation. This limited edition model, which could burst from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, became something of a sensation in the past decade. Originally slated for a production run of 1,000 units, the Spirit R’s popularity compelled Mazda to run out another 1,000 to satisfy the market demand. It could fly past 140 miles per hour using its 232 horsepower, and it had feature style cues that made it a bona fide collector’s item.
If you want to talk about rare performance cars from Mazda’s past, bring up the Eunos Cosmo in conversation. This speed demon existed almost exclusively overseas. In fact, only a few ever made it to America, as the Cosmo has been one of the many illegal, banned cars on the government’s list. Mazda had plans to challenge Lexus with the Cosmo performance line, but nixed the idea in the exploratory phase. Too bad: Eunos Cosmo could hit 60 miles per hour in six seconds flat and ran the quarter mile in about 14 seconds. Top speeds exceeded 150 miles per hour.
A prototype of a new rotary-powered Mazda ‘RX-9' has been approved by the company’s board of directors to hit dealerships in 2020, according to a report by Motoring. That’d be an awesome way for Mazda to celebrate 100 years of Zoom-Zoom, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Mazda’s vision is to deliver true driving pleasure that will earn its cars a position as the customer’s partner, and will enrich their motoring lives. That motivates Mazda to continually defy convention and push the boundaries, building cars that match its unique vision.