Not bad for unofficial renderings. Looks a little too much like the Kabura to be the next RX-8 though (actually that looks almost exactly like a Kabura), IMHO. Rumour has it that Mazda will produce both, so the RX-8 will have to differentiate itself, not be more like it.
The new Renesis is likely to be a direct-injected model. That's how they're getting it up to 300hp. Rotaries love direct-injection.
And, despite what that article says, it's virtually impossible that Mazda will include their hydrogen drivetrain. Yeah it has them and is testing them in Japan. But they cost hundreds of thousands each, are extremely limited in mileage, of coruse require special hydrogen refueling points, and basically wholly impractical for normal use. They're proof-of-concepts only and will remain that way for the better part of the next 10-20 years.
If it looks anything like that and the power stays at 300 bhp, this will be a good comeback for the rotary. I like it from every angle. I wish they would consider an electronic clutch (automanual) tranny rather than a traditional slushbox though.
I think Mazda should be more focusing on perfecting the Wankel Renesis engine rather than the body. My two choices for cars came down to the Rx-8 and the MS6. To me, the Renesis engine is just too much maintence, warm-ups, cool-downs, oil, mpg. All that stuff. Sure its a rotary but if they can eliminate it, or at least make sure that it happens less often along, with slight body modification they could make the Rx-8 sell a whole lot better.
RX8 or RX7?
One would think that a RX8 would have 4 doors and anything with two doors and a rotary would equal an RX7.
Either way I like it but I agree that we need far more R&D into the rotary.
I really don't see gas coming down in price and for the "if you buy a RX#, you won't care about gas" people, remeber that the RX7 did best when it was a low priced 944 beater.
The more money Mazdas cost, the less they will sell against "true" up market cars where the price of gas is no issue.
Well, I mean I wouldn't mind if there was a certain tolerance level in the rotary engine. I mean, I abuse my MS6's piston engine, cold starts if I'm in a hurry, turn it on, move it, and then turn it off. I accept some degree of warm-up and such, and cool-down but if they could cut those down to lets say a 1/4th or even an 1/8th of the required measurements that they are now, this engine would sell like hot-cakes. The MS6, and the MS3, are the sport sedans/hatchbacks, while the Rx-8 is a true maintenance sports car.
Well my suggestions to Mazda, although it probably won't count are these things.
1) Put in a third rotor and crank up the HP. Make it a true unique body and a truly powerful car at once. 232 hp is nothing in the world of sports car unless it weighs the same as an Elise which I doubt it does.
2) Put in a cover or a filter of some sorts in the rotary to prevent engine flooding from start-stops.
3) Get a really high-power engine block heater or something to make the warm-up time a minute-ish. That is more acceptable than being able to go outside on a cold day and listening to about 3 songs before the thing can drive.
4)Get better gas mileage. Put in a recycle gas-converter or something along those lines because so much gas is wasted in the rotorary burning process. Each rotor goes through 4 steps and being that there are two, it equals the gas use of a V8. That being said, this should actually be tied with #1 as it would be more detrimental putting in a third rotor if you can't cut down gas-consumption.
The idea of rotary engines seem ideal and you would think that they would make up 80% of the market.
But if Mazda is the only company using it and in only one "high priced" car... I don't think the rotary will ever be what it should be.