The Mazda RX-Vision concept, which stole the Tokyo motor show last November, remains on the production slow-burn, with plans to make it for the road seemingly still in their infancy.
The RX-Vision concept captured minds and hearts alike when it premiered six-months ago, while it also gave a glimpse at where Mazda was at with the rotary engine — its spiritual hallmark. Mazda called this update the SkyActiv-R engine.
Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai praised the new engine.
“Under the hood is our next-generation rotary engine, the SKYACTIV-R,” he said at the Tokyo launch. “This name expresses our intention to make breakthroughs in the rotary engine’s dynamic and environmental performance with the same high aspirations that made SKYACTIV technology possible.”
People speculated the concept would morph into a new RX sports coupe, perhaps called RX-9.
Many suggested a 2020 world premiere to coincide with Mazda’s centenary.
Many also suggested the rotary engine would be turbocharged. Some even speculated on electrification. However, we spoke with Mazda Corporation’s visiting global director and senior managing executive officer, Yuji Nakemine, in Melbourne.
“I was encouraged by the concept but still think we just created that kind of concept, kind of a dream of bringing that to market in the future but at this moment, no specific plan to mass-produce the vehicle,” he said.
“I think Mazda R&D will continue to look — that’s their dream as engineers. When it comes to business, I think we have to study lots of elements, recovering engineering costs, tooling, we have to be realistic. At this time, we have MX-5 RF and soft-top and we shouldn’t be, kind of, distracted by so many rumours … our sales organisation should take advantage of the current product line-up.
“Then if we make good money and are more robust and can afford more engineering resources ... we can talk about new concepts or visions or whatever.
“To be honest, I’m very careful about this concept, but unless we continue to create that kind of concept we cannot realise our dream in future.