The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Mazda RX-9

Wed 19th Sep 2018

One of the greatest frustrations of being a lover of the most stylish and sophisticated concept cars is that we have to endure the endless thread of rumours and whispers of our dream motors going into production. The Mazda RX-9 is no different, and enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the day they can finally get behind the wheel of the RX-8s rightful successor.

The RX-8 was discontinued in 2011, possibly due to the fact that its unquenchable thirst for petrol would have made it an instant target for the green-brigade who are keen for us all to drive battery powered zero-emission vehicles by the end of the decade. Maybe Mazda thought we just shouldn’t have too much of a good thing, but if that’s the case then why the long tease for its successor?

Rumours of the RX-9 began in 2013, with some magazine journalists being so bold to suggest that the new version would come with a 300bhp twin-turbo diesel engine. If it was scoped to have a diesel engine, then perhaps that’s why five years later we are still waiting. As diesel development dies a slow death, the RX-9 may be looking at other ways to get those power pistons pumping.

Another strong line of gossip was that the RX-9 would feature the same eccentric Wankel rotary engine that had made the RX-8 such a beast to drive, but after working with the revolutionary engine concept since 1961, Mazda’s CEO has even said that the company will never again launch a rotary engine.

So are we to see an RX-9 anytime soon? Japanese car magazine Holiday Auto had suggested that the car would be previewed at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show, but that came and went with no sign and though several sightings have been made of a potential testing mule, we still await official news.

Only last month Car Throttle website suggested that the RX-9 could form part of Mazda’s EV future, with, wait for it, the reintroduction of Wankel rotary engine technology, which could extend the range of electric vehicles.

As with all concepts, until we can actually drive the thing out of the showroom, we’ll just have to take every story with an added pinch of salt.