July has been a busy month for Mazda, and we’re not even halfway through! We’ve had two big rumors and one piece of official news, so let’s start things off with what we know for sure:
New Mazda MX-5 to Debut September 3
Last week Mazda confirmed that the fourth-generation of their MX-5 Miata Eunos Roadster sports coupe will make its global debut on September 3. The little Japanese roadster will be unveiled simultaneously at three separate events held in the US, Spain and Japan. The US debut will be of particular interest since it will be held in Monterey, California, which also happens to be the location of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any images of the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. What’s pictured above is the Miata’s 25th anniversary edition, first seen at this year’s New York Auto Show. However, it’s unlikely that this car will be the basis for the next-gen model. All we’ve seen is the new model’s chassis, which was also on display in New York. Fortunately, even though we haven’t seen anything from the new Miata, Mazda has given us something to hear:
Is there any sound sweeter? Mazda says that the fourth generation Miata will be “lighter, stronger and with a physical footprint more in tune with its first-generation predecessor than with its heavier, larger current-day cousin.”
Mazda2 RE PHEV Rumor
Our Australian colleagues over at Motoring.com.au reported earlier this week that Mazda “is almost certain to produce a plug-in hybrid version of its third-generation Mazda2.”
Apparently, even though they’ve had a lot of success with hyper-efficient conventional engines, Mazda would like to try their hand at a plug-in hybrid. However, the Mazda2 RE PHEV would only be available in markets with significant government support (aka. tax breaks), and that’s if it ever makes it to production at all. This is because the only way that a hybrid car could reduce more CO2 – both during manufacture and on the road – than Mazda’s current SkyActiv engines is if half of a car’s sales are of the hybrid model.
Revived Mazda RX-7 Sports Car
One final rumor, again from the folks over at Motoring, states that Mazda is considering reviving their RX-7 sports car. The RX-7 Series 1 launched all the way back in 1978, and Mazda sold 811,634 of the two-door coupes from then until the car was axed in 2002.
The defining characteristics of the original Mazda RX-7 were its Wankel rotary engine and its twin-scroll turbocharger. Together, these components enable up to 33% more engine power at higher revolutions than a naturally aspirated engine of the same displacement. Now, Mazda is thinking about bringing the technology back in full force in a new RX-7, which will reportedly output something in the ballpark of 450hp. If the new car does come to fruition, it will likely be built on the RX-8 platform and feature the brand’s new Kodo design language.
Unfortunately, Motoring estimates that we won’t see the new RX-7 until May of 2017. So, we’ve got a while to wait until we’ll know whether this particular rumor is true or false.