Mazda “RX-7 Mini” Is an MX-5 Miata RF-Based Rotary Sportscar Digital Revival

Maz… you can’t even finish saying the name of the Japanese carmaker before die-hard enthusiasts ask for the return of Mazda’s rotary sports car. And while the company may be planning a joint development of the sort with Toyota (more on this below), two-door enthusiasts only get the MX-5 Miata meanwhile. Nevertheless, the rendering realm has its own rules, having recently introduced a “mini” version of the RX-7 based on the Miata RF.

Sure, the final Wankel-powered machine made by Mazda, the 2003-2012 RX8, has its appeal. But the model most car lovers think about when this topic shows up is, the third-gen RX-7. Codenamed FD, the last RX-7 was built between 1992 and 2002, with its modern classic coupe silhouette continuing to keep the Internet on its toes, whether via real builds or CGI ones.

And digital artist Siim Parn (aka spdesignsest) has decided to modernize the FD RX-7 using the platform of the 2017-introduced Miata RF. However, the latter’s Retractable Fastback top has made room for a fixed roof, while the front and rear fascias are clear echoes of the iconic 90s model.

As far as the “RX-7 Mini” nickname we chose is concerned, we’ll mention that, even with the 13-year gap between the two sportscars, the current MX-5 is 14.6 inches (37 cm) shorter than the rotary-powered machine being discussed here.

Will Mazda build a rotary hybrid sports car?

As part of a comprehensive effort that sees Mazda reinforcing its SUV lineup, which has received the CX-50 and CX-60 and should get the CX-70/CX-80/CX-90 in the future, the company has revived the Wankel engine for 2022, albeit as a range extender for the compact MX-30. And while this is obviously a step in the right direction, it’s quite a long way from the rotary revival so many aficionados crave.

After all, Mazda itself fueled such dreams at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show when it introduced the RC Vision concept. And while plans for a production model seem to have been put on hold, it seems the automaker hasn’t completely given up on this cause.

Recent reports from Japan talk about Mazda having trademarked an “R” logo that resembles the Spirit R branding on the RX-7 and RX-8. And there are other stories mentioning a sportscar collab between Mazda and Toyota.

The two companies could share development costs in the same way Toyota and Subaru have done for the two iterations of Toyobaru we’ve received so far. And with the size of the said RX Vision and Toyota’s more recent GR GT3 concept being extremely close, the hopes for Mazda bringing the rotary engine into the electrified era are high.



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