Mazda plans to bring back the RX-7 as a lightweight Wankel-engined sportscar with sleek styling and a low ride weight - all in keeping with the highly-acclaimed 1978 original.

Mazda plans to bring back the RX-7 as a lightweight Wankel-engined sportscar with sleek styling and a low ride weight - all in keeping with the highly-acclaimed 1978 original.


The car will borrow a number of key components, including parts of its platform and suspension, from the current four-door RX-8 and Mazda is expected to unveil a concept of the new rotary-engined rocket at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, although sales are not scheduled to start before 2006.


Initial plans to revive the RX-7 were put on the backburner because Mazda was struggling with a shortage of cash. But since then, financial and engineering help from parent company Ford enabled Mazda to go ahead with plans to build the car.


Codenamed J77, Mazda's two-door sportscar is said to be shorter but wider that its RX-8 sibling. Its more compact wheelbase also means the interior will be restricted to a snug two-seater layout.


Power for the new RX-7 will come from a reworked version of the RX-8's compact 2,6-litre Renesis rotary engine. With wider rotor chambers and other detail changes to stiffen the block and enhance cooling, the rotary unit is being bumped up to around 3,2-litres and should also boast a higher redline for better performance.


The engine is expected to produce 224 kW in naturally-aspirated form. An even more powerful supercharged version is also on the drawing board.


Heading development of the new engine is Nobuhiro Hayama, executive officer and general manager of Mazda's Powertrain Division. "We didn't invest in the Renesis project for just one model. It will get into other Mazda cars," he told .


Mazda considers the RX-7 an integral step in its revival under the parentage of Ford. However, officials say the RX-7’s return hinges on the success of volume models such as the 2, 3 and 6.

Original article from Car