Wednesday 28 October 2015

Mazda RX-VISION Concept

Mazda's RX-VISION concept was revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The car is a 2-door sports coupe styled using the Kodo: Soul of Motion design language. Aside from the dramatic styling, the concept's most significant feature is the next-generation rotary engine dubbed SkyActiv-R.

Although Mazda ceased production of rotary powered cars in 2012 with the retirement of the RX-8, rotary research & development has continued alongside the implementation of new SkyActiv technologies. The SkyActiv-G and SkyActiv-D engines were brand new designs that have reached new levels of power and efficiency. The same thinking will apply to the new SkyActiv-R as Mazda engineers work to overcome the key issues with rotary power, namely the fuel economy, emissions, and reliability.

The exterior styling has hints of earlier Mazda sports models and is intended to represent the brand's sporting lineage. The roofline and rear lights for example are reminiscent of the iconic FD generation RX-7. The elongated front end and short overhangs make it instantly recognisable as an FR sports car. The grille is another interpretation of the family five pointed design and uses a floating Mazda wings badge and sharp headlights to finish. The concept sits on 20" carbon wheels and has tiny door mirrors which will not make it to production but do look nice.

Mazda's use of the rotary engine is approaching it's 50th anniversary, having first been used in the 1967 Cosmo Sport. There were rumours when this concept was unveiled that the RX-VISION will be launched as a new model called RX-9 around 2017/18, however these proved to be unfounded. The RX-VISION would later be developed into a GT3 style concept race car as part of Mazda's e-sports partnership with Sony's Gran Turismo video game.

"The design aim was to shave away all but the essentials and give birth to the dynamic tension and ambience of a machine that is all business. The fine craftsmanship of Mazda’s renowned clay modelers creates reflections that convey motion and thereby capture the spirit of the KODO design language without relying on character lines or other such elements. It is an elegant and highly vital form that changes expression with the slightest change of viewing angle.

A special red chosen for the body color features both energetic brightness and depth. It helps bring out the luster and contrast between light and shadow that are present on the RX-VISION.

Weaving some design motifs that reflect the history of Mazda sports cars into the design of the RX-VISION expresses Mazda’s unchanging passion for the sports car.For the interior, the design team pursued an ultimately simple yet powerful image, while fusing it with the tactile feel of handcrafted work and a sophisticated mechanical expression. Intricate instruments give the cockpit a true machine appeal, which in combination with the simple instrument panel and genuine leather trim with a saddle motif for the center tunnel create an interior atmosphere that speaks of handcrafted warmth and quality yet maintains a sense of tension."

  • Seating capacity: 2 persons
  • Overall length x width x height: 4,389mm x 1,925mm x 1,160mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,700mm
  • Engine: SkyActiv-R
  • Powertrain: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • Tyres: Front 245/40R20, Rear 285/35R20
  • Rim width: Front 9.5J, Rear 11J