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Yes, Virginia, There Is a Rotary

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Mazda Reveals New Rotary-Engine Sports Car Concept, the RX-VISION

As Masamichi Kogai entered the stage last night to reveal Mazda’s new, mysterious maybe-yes-maybe-no rotary sports car concept, two thoughts crossed my mind. First, I thought “Man, it is a good thing that Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai doesn’t have epilepsy.” Watching the live feed, the sheer number of blinding camera flashes made the feed look like an old rabbit-ear television in a heavy storm.

BMW CEO Harald Krueger Falls in Frankfurt

The whole time, I was worried that we would have another Frankfurt on our hands

Then, shortly thereafter, I thought, “Man, I wish I could speak Japanese.”

So, in perfect incomprehension, I watched Masamichi Kogai speak, until the following words appeared on the screen behind him, ironically setting off a flurry of artificial interference:


Camera Flash

The normal description of a horde of fireflies was completely inadequate
Image: Julian Schüngel

Kogai continued to speak, and the words were replaced with “SKYACTIV-R.”

Then my feed cut out for a minute, as I sat, staring at Kogai in mid-word, thinking, “They brought back the rotary engine.”

Suddenly the screen was filled by whirring machinery as the feed caught up to the promotional video Mazda was showing, until finally the view was filled by the iconic Wankel engine Spinning Triangle.

Then, with epic music going in the background and whirring spotlights flinging light through the room, Mazda revealed the RX-VISION concept vehicle.


Hello, gorgeous

The RX-VISION is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car, designed with the KODO-Soul of Motion design language and powered by Mazda’s new generation of rotary engine: the SKYACTIV-R. The RX-VISION is wide and low, with the rotary engine allowing an especially low hood.

And of course it was painted red.

With this, Mazda has promised that rotary engines will return. In the Tokyo Motor Show Press Kit, Mazda finished with this bold statement.

“Mazda will never stop challenging to deliver new rotary engines that provide its unique brand of driving pleasure.”


Mazda RX-VISION Concept Vehicle Images:

There’s something for the ol’ desktop background.