Is the next rotary-powered RX from Mazda going to be a hybrid? It seems so. A report from Motor Trend indicates that the successor to the RX-8 will shun reverse-opening rear doors for a standard coupe format with an architecture based on the platform of the next-gen Mazda MX-5.
It is nothing but the 2010 agreement signed between Mazda and Toyota, which make us believe that it is not a mere rumor. According to the agreement, from 2013, Mazda will become the second manufacturer to directly use Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Further, Mazda had also indicated then that its first hybrid using Toyota technology would hit the market in 2013.
The best part of it all is the fact that a hybrid powertrain will be able to overcome the so-called drawbacks of a rotary engine including low torque and high fuel consumption. The rotary engine is designed to make a ton of horsepower at stratospheric spinning speeds like a proper rotary should.
However, it has to be noted that Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology uses a complicated continuously variable automatic transmission, which have typically failed to provide the excitement of a proper manual gearbox, or even a dual-clutch.
If the rumor holds true, it will become the world’s first real rear-wheel-drive hybrid sports car for the mass market.
Mazda RX-9, Hybrid Tech