2012 Mazda RX-7
Behind closed doors, far from the public's eye, an anonymous source at Mazda revealed to one of our spies in Japan that there will be another rotary-engine car coming from the Hiroshima-based company. It's still early, but a team is being assembled as you read this to produce such a car. The basis for the future car — we have yet to confirm if it will be called the RX-7 — is the 16X rotary engine, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The 16X is an all-new Wankel — an evolution of the Renesis 13B power-plant in the RX-8 — with a revised eccentric shaft designed to produce more low-end torque. While Mazda hasn't published horsepower figures yet, we hear it's in the neighborhood of 200–250 bhp.
Because of the increase in torque, there probably won't be a turbocharged version of the 16X, at least not in the beginning. But our source went on to say that Mazda is still experimenting with forced induction. So, our first glimpse of the 16X will not be in a pure high-performance sports car like the last RX-7, discontinued more than a decade ago in the U.S., but rather something along the lines of the original RX-7 — an affordable, user-friendly sports car that was nimble and fun to drive.